Moral Masculinities: Ethical Self-fashionings of Professional Chinese Men in London


NAN NÜ

Through qualitative interviews and examination of textual sources, this essay investigates the gendered, class and cultural subjectivities of transnational, highly-educated Chinese men living and working in London. Narrative analysis of the interviews of two participants suggests that they exhibit hybrid “bricolage masculinities,” which incorporate elements from Western educational and corporate cultures, and also appropriate concepts and practices from the Confucian tradition of moral self-cultivation. A discussion of contemporary texts that support the revival of Confucian masculinities illuminates the discursive context in which the participants’ ethical self-fashionings take place. The study argues that the cosmopolitan yet culturally embedded masculinities of the participants are suggestive of how professional Chinese men, as they step onto the world stage, seek to insert themselves more advantageously into local and global power relations of gender, class and nation.


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