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Introduction: Transnational Chinese Masculinities in a Global Age

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Why is it important to study contemporary Chinese men and masculinities from
a transnational perspective? One good reason is that in today’s globalizing world
concepts of Chinese masculinity and Chinese men themselves are increasingly
part of transnational circulations of people, ideas, images, and objects. Another is
that the ongoing integration of post-Mao China into global capitalist markets has
led in turn to the increasing influence of Chinese men and masculinities across
the world. The impetus of globalization inflects the configurations of masculinities
in China’s postsocialist era with transnational dimensions: the resulting
hybrid masculinities of Chinese men in China and elsewhere cannot be ignored.
This chapter addresses these issues with the following aims: to highlight some
of the most significant transnational aspects of contemporary Chinese men and
masculinities; to show how these aspects are imbricated with other more locally
embedded notions and practices of masculinity; and to explore the significance
of these shifts for the Chinese gender order.