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Excess and Masculinity in Asian Cultural Productions

Kwai-Cheung Lo

Publication Year: 2010

Innovative analysis of the relationship of gender to East Asian economic development. In Excess and Masculinity in Asian Cultural Productions, Kwai-Cheung Lo explores the excesses associated with the phenomenal economic growth in East Asia, including surplus capital, environmental waste, and the unbalanced ratio of men to women in the region, connecting the production of capitalist “excess” to the production of new forms of transnational Asian masculinity. Lo draws on Lacanian psychoanalysis and Marxist ideas as well as gender theory in his examination of East Asian cultural products such as religious and parenting books, transgender literary fantasies, travel writing, gangster movies, female action heroes, and online games. Through this analysis, Lo argues that the excess of Asia’s “masculine” modernization throws into relief the internal inconsistencies of capitalism itself, posing new challenges to the order of global capitalism and suggesting new possible configurations of global modernity.

Published by: State University of New York Press

TITLE PAGE: EXCESS AND MASCULINITY IN ASIAN CULTURAL PRODUCTIONS

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pp. iii-iv

CONTENTS

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pp. v-

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. vii-viii

Academic work is a product of collective wisdom. Different people at various stages offered help by pointing me to significant materials and different perspectives. I would like to thank the many friends and colleagues that I cannot mention individually here for their comments and encouragement while I was working on this project. I am particularly indebted to Arif Dirlik ...

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INTRODUCTION: Asian Modernity and Its Unassimilable Male Excess

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pp. 1-23

In an American internet chat room some years ago, I found the following comments regarding China’s online population of 123 million (by January 2009, the amount of internet users in China has already reached 298 million) ...

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1. Ethnic Ghosts in the Asian Shell: Racial Crossover and Transnational Cinema

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pp. 25-57

The growing homogenizing and integrative forces of global capitalism have facilitated the emergence of a pan-Asian popular culture during the last two decades of the twentieth century. While East Asia has been developing into a new hub of corporate capitalism, Asian people, images, and cultural products also simultaneously cross national borders and infi ltrate everyday life in the region in multiple areas. Japan’s days as an economic superpower may be gone, but ...

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2. The Racial Other and Violent Manhood in Murakami Haruki’s Writings about China

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pp. 59-82

One of the biggest misunderstandings between the Chinese and Japanese is the common belief that their shared cultural sphere allows an immediacy of communication and mutual comprehension. When Japanese travel in China, they think they can make some sense of the Chinese words they see because of the proximity of meaning between the two languages. ...

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3. Becoming-Woman in the Male Writings of Hong Kong Chinese Society

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pp. 83-106

It is no secret that sex is a plastic condition for some fish: due to certain circumstances internal or external, they may change sex at some point in their lives. Fish mainly switch sex in response to changes in social environment. The removal of the dominant male in a socially stable group typically results in a dominant female changing sex to fill the void. ...

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4. Fighting Female Masculinity: Modernity and Antagonism in Woman Warrior Films

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pp. 107-150

Does maleness automatically produce masculinity? Apparently not. Is there a kind of masculinity independent from the biological male? The female transvestite already demonstrates that she can reproduce masculinity, mock it, and criticize it. Can the women who kill in action cinema occupy a position that has been historically thought of as exclusively masculine? If they were able to, ...

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5. Ethnic Excess in Films about Minorities

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pp. 141-165

China’s first Tibetan-made film, The Silent Holy Stone (2005)—written and directed by Tibetan native and Beijing Film Academy graduate Wanma Caidan entirely in the Tibetan language—is about the journey of a young lama returning home from his remote temple for the New Year holidays.1 Deeply impressed by the socioeconomic changes in his own village, the boy becomes increasingly uncertain ...

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6. Clean Modernization, the Web-Marriage Game, and Chinese Men in Virtual Reality

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pp. 167-186

By successfully shooting down an old satellite and sending a new one into orbit around the moon in 2007, China attempted to emerge as a major technological power. Chinese enthusiasm for space technology is matched by that of India, which launched its own lunar satellite in 2008. Asia’s drive to succeed in high-tech realms has alarmed the United States, the leading technological power. ...

NOTES

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pp. 187-218

WORKS CITED

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pp. 219-239

INDEX

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pp. 241-243


E-ISBN-13: 9781438432106
E-ISBN-10: 1438432070
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438432090
Print-ISBN-10: 1438432097

Page Count: 251
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1
Series Title: SUNY series in Global Modernity
Series Editor Byline: Arif Dirlik

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Civilization, Modern -- Asia -- 21st century.
  • Popular culture -- China.
  • Civilization, Modern -- China -- 21st century.
  • Masculinity in popular culture -- China.
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