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Popular Geopolitics of Chinese Nanjing Massacre Films: A Feminist Approach


An, Ning, Chen Liu, and Hong Zhu. 2016. “Popular Geopolitics of Chinese Nanjing Massacre Films: A Feminist Approach.” Gender, Place & Culture 23 (6): 786–800. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2015.1058762.


Authors: Ning An, Chen Liu, Hong Zhu


This article attempts to deconstruct the masculinised contract among the war narrative, popular culture, and Chinese nationalism by exploring the roles of women in Nanjing Massacre films with war narratives and Chinese audiences' emotional ‘readings’ of these women. Based on the analysis of City of Life and Death (2009) and The Flowers of War (2011) and audiences' comments on these two films from Douban Movie, this article has mapped a popular geopolitics of these two films through a feminist approach. The main argument of this research points out that, through the production and consumption of these two films, the women of the Nanjing Massacre can be territorialised as Nanjing/China and used to represent China's attitudes towards both the historical and current Sino–Japanese relationship. In this way, the women of these films can be considered an articulation of popular culture and politics, and they are empowered to establish Chinese nationalism and construct anti-Japanese identities in Chinese society. To a wider extent, this article can be read as a contribution to the literature on gender, nationalism and popular geopolitics.

Keywords: popular geopolitics, feminist approach, nationalism, Sino – Japanese relationship, Nanjing massacre, China

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Nationalism Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China, Japan

Year: 2016

The Securtiy Threat of Asia's Sex Ratios


den Boer, Andrea, and Valerie Hudson. 2004. “The Securtiy Threat of Asia’s Sex Ratios.” SAIS Review of International Affairs 24 (2): 27–43. doi:10.1353/sais.2004.0028.


“Security demographics" has become a new subfield of security studies in recent years as scholars envision the security implications of long-term demographic change. This subfield provides important new insight into the problem of population, social stability and conflict, but our research suggests that an additional demographic factor must be taken into account when assessing social stability and security of a state - that of sex ratios. What are the security implications for a population whose males, particularly those of the young adult population, significantly outnumber females? China and India, as well as several other Asian states, are currently undergoing various demographic transitions, one of the most important being the increasingly high sex ratios of young segments of these populations. We argue that internal instability is heightened in nations displaying the high level of exaggerated gender inequality indicated by high sex ratios, leading to an altered security calculus for the state. Possibilities of meaningful democracy and peaceful foreign policy are diminished as a result. The high sex ratios in China and India in particular have implications for the long-term security of these nations and the Asian region more broadly. 

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Security Regions: Asia, East Asia, South Asia Countries: China, India

Year: 2004

Notes from the Field: A Roundtable: Migrant Women Negotiate Foreign Investment in Southern Chinese Factories


Ye, Zhang. 2004. "Notes from the Field: A Roundtable: Migrant Women Negotiate Foreign Investment in Southern Chinese Factories." Signs 29 (2): 540-3.

Author: Zhang Ye

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations, NGOs Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2004

From “Country Bumpkins” to “Tough Workers”: The Pursuit of Masculinity Among Male Factory Workers in China


Kim, Jaesok. 2015. "From “Country Bumpkins” to “Tough Workers”: The Pursuit of Masculinity Among Male Factory Workers in China." Anthropological Quarterly 88 (1): 133-161.

Author: Jaesok Kim


This article explores the formation of a new industrial underclass in post- Mao China, focusing on a group of young male workers' gendered interpretation of their subjection to an exploitative factory regime. I examine the experiential and performative dimensions of this subjection, which are intricately linked to China's insertion into the global capitalist economy. The transformation of China into the "world's factory" depended on the dramatic increase of foreign direct investment and the rapid expansion of labor-intensive, low-skilled factory jobs that favored the labor of rural migrant women. While the "feminization of production labor" generated some positive outcomes among the women workers, it turned a group of unskilled young male migrants into an industrial underclass. These men assumed menial jobs that drained their physical strength while offering virtually no chance of promotion or improvement in their future lives. Male workers reacted to the exploitative factory regime by engaging in binge drinking and extreme forms of anti-social behavior. This case study shows how class solidarity is sometimes deflected into the domain of gender conflict.

Keywords: labor, gender, masculinity, multinational corporation, China, garment industry, globalization

Topics: Class, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Globalization, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations, Political Economies Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2015

Do Race and Gender Matter in International Assignments To/from Asia Pacific? An Exploratory Study of Attitudes among Chinese


Tung, Rosalie L. 2008. “Do Race and Gender Matter in International Assignments To/from Asia Pacific? An Exploratory Study of Attitudes among Chinese.” Human Resource Management 47 (1): 91–110.

Author: Rosalie L. Tung


Based on a survey of EMBA students in China and South Korea, this article examines how two sensitive but potentially salient criteria—race and gender—affect the selection of an executive to head the (a) foreign operations of a U.S. multinational in China and South Korea and (b) newly acquired U.S. operations of a Korean multinational. The results reveal a fairly complex picture of how gender, race, and the interplay of these two factors might affect these decisions. In the Korean sample, competencies mattered more than race and gender in a senior executive appointment to the U.S. operations of Korean multinationals. Also in the Korean sample, race and gender outweighed competencies in assignments to Korea. In the Chinese sample, competencies outweighed race and gender in a senior executive appointment in China. Overall, Koreans had a more positive attitude toward foreign-born Koreans than the Chinese toward foreign-born Chinese for senior executive appointments. Implications for international human resource management and diversity management, both theoretical and applied, are discussed. 

Topics: Economies, Gender, Multi-National Corporations, Race Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, East Asia Countries: China, South Korea, United States of America

Year: 2008

Women, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Deforestation: a Cross-National Study


Shandra, John M., Carrie L. Shandra, and Bruce London. 2008. “Women, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Deforestation: A Cross-National Study.” Population and Environment 30 (1-2): 48–72.

Authors: John M. Shandra, Carrie L. Shandra, Bruce London


There have been several cross-national studies published in the world polity theoretical tradition that find a strong correlation between nations with high levels of environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and low levels of various forms of environmental degradation. However, these studies neglect the role that women’s NGOs potentially play in this process. We seek to address this gap by conducting a cross-national study of the association between women’s NGOs and deforestation. We examine this relationship because deforestation often translates into increased household labor, loss of income, and impaired health for women and, as a result, women’s non-governmental organizations have become increasingly involved in dealing with these problems often by protecting forests. We use data from a sample of 61 nations for the period of 1990–2005. We find substantial support for world polity theory that both high levels of women’s and environmental NGOs per capita are associated with lower rates of deforestation. We also find that high levels of debt service and structural adjustment are correlated with higher rates of forest loss. We conclude with a discussion of findings, policy implications, and possible future research directions.

Keywords: deforestation, women, non-governmental organizations, cross-national

Topics: Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, NGOs Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, North America, South America, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Baltic states, Balkans, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Oceania Countries: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Year: 2008

Marriage and Land Property: Bilateral Non-Lineal Kinship and Communal Authority of the Lahu on the Southwest Yunnan Frontier, China


Ma, Jianxiong. 2011. “Marriage and Land Property: Bilateral Non-Lineal Kinship and Communal Authority of the Lahu on the Southwest Yunnan Frontier, China.” South East Asia Research 19 (3): 495–536. doi: 10.5367/sear.2011.0059.

Author: Jianxiong Ma


This paper discusses how a social system based on bilateral and non-hierarchical kinship is able to establish and maintain systems of authority. The Muga Lahu in Yunnan practise a bilateral and non-lineal kinship system based on the gender equality principle, and communal life is also based on equal couples' kinship networking, bound to non-lineal ties through marriage. The Lahu here never practise matrilineal, patrilineal or cognatic kinship and descent in daily life, but an individual couple is bound to immediate ancestors through the redistribution of cropland property. In communal life, family separation and farmland reorganization are carried out dynamically through the marriages of the younger generation. The flexible kinship group establishes labour-sharing, ritual-participating and intermarriage groups in everyday life. Therefore, the kinship system is closely bound to farmland redistribution and the continuation of families. This bilateral, non-lineal kinship system constitutes a dynamic social institution, but all couples are equal to each other. Due to the lack of authority over the equality of social units such as equal couples, the Lahu communal authority historically comes from superior external powers, such as the religious power linked with religious movements involved in the Yunnan-Burma frontier formation since the 1720s. The established Lahu political system was destroyed by the coming of the Qing and the Republic states, because of its anti-Han or anti-state stance in frontier history. It is clear that the superior religious power over the kinship network worked as a means of social mobilization through religious movements, and became the authority source for social cohesion in history, but it has been replaced by state-appointed cadres in current communal life in  China. The Lahu case shows that more attention should be paid to the relationships between frontier history, dynamic kinship and social organization among ethnic minorities in Chinese and South East Asian frontier societies.

Keywords: kinship, land property, Lahu, Yunnan-Burma frontier

Topics: Clan, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2011

Who Needs [Sex] When You Can Have [Gender]? Conflicting Discourses on Gender at Beijing


Baden, Sally, and Anne Marie Goetz. 1997. “Who Needs [Sex] When You Can Have [Gender]? Conflicting Discourses on Gender at Beijing.” Feminist Review 56: 3-25.

Authors: Sally Baden, Anne Marie Goetz


'Gender', understood as the social construction of sex, is a key concept for feminists working at the interface of theory and policy. This article examines challenges to the concept which emerged from different groups at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, September 1995, an important arena for struggles over feminist public policies. The first half of the article explores contradictory uses of the concept in the field of gender and development. Viewpoints from some southern activist women at the NGO Forum of the Beijing Conference are presented. Some of them argued that the way 'gender' has been deployed in development institutions has led to a depoliticization of the term, where feminist policy ambitions are sacrificed to the imperative of ease of institutionalization. 'Gender' becomes a synonym for 'women', rather than a form of shorthand for gender difference and conflict and the project of transformation in gender relations. 'Gender sensitivity' can be interpreted by non-feminists as encouragement to use gender-disaggregated statistics for development planning, but without consideration of relational aspects of gender, of power and ideology, and of how patterns of subordination are reproduced. A completely different attack on 'gender' came from right-wing groups and was battled out over the text of the Platform for Action agreed at the official conference. Six months prior to the conference, conservative groups had tried to bracket for possible removal the term 'gender' in this document, out of opposition to the notion of socially constructed, and hence mutable, gender identity. Conservative views on gender as the 'deconstruction of woman' are discussed here. The article points out certain contradictions and inconsistencies in feminist thinking on gender which are raised by the conservative backlash attack on feminism and the term 'gender'.

Keywords: sex, gender, Beijing Conference, instrumentalism, feminism, development studies

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 1997

Macho Minority: Masculinity and Ethnicity on the Edge of Tibet


Hillman, Ben, and Lee-Anne Henfry. 2006. “Macho Minority: Masculinity and Ethnicity on the Edge of Tibet.” Modern China 32 (2): 251–72. doi:10.1177/0097700405286186.

Authors: Ben Hillman , Lee-Ann Henfry


This article explores the role of masculinity in articulating ethnic Tibetan identity in China. Based on interviews with Tibetans and Han Chinese in a Tibetan autonomous prefecture in China's southwest and on an examination of recent Chinese publications, the study explores the dialogue between Tibetans' own perceptions of their ethnic identity and public representations of that identity. While previous scholarship has highlighted the role that ethnic minorities play in constructing a Chinese national identity, the authors demonstrate that minorities, too, construct their ethnic identities in contradistinction to a majority Other. This process is integral to the production of a local knowledge and history that runs parallel to state-sponsored discourses of the nation and its composite nationalities.

Keywords: Tibet, China, ethnic minority, gender identity

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2006

Trafficking, Trade, and Migration: Mapping Human Trafficking in the Mekong Region


Feingold, David A. 2012. “Trafficking, Trade, and Migration: Mapping Human Trafficking in the Mekong Region.” In An Atlas of Trafficking in Southeast Asia the Illegal Trade in Arms, Drugs, People, Counterfeit Goods and Natural Resources in Mainland Southeast Asia, edited by Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy. London: I.B. Tauris.

Author: David A. Feingold

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2012


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