1st Edition

Gender Hierarchy of Masculinity and Femininity during the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Revolutionary Opera Films

ISBN 9780367617219
Published November 26, 2020 by Routledge
120 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Focusing on the influence of Maoist ideology and masculinist power on the representations of women in revolutionary opera films made during the Cultural Revolution, this book considers the gendered hierarchy between masculinity and femininity in relation to the historic and cultural context in which they were made.

Using feminist methodology and epistemology to locate women’s social identity, this book explores the sociological connections between the masculinisation of women and masculinist domination in the context of the Cultural Revolution. Through film analysis, the author examines whether women, rather than 'liberated', were in fact re-gendered and oppressed by masculinist power. By critically evaluating gender hierarchy during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the book provides hitherto neglected insights into gender within its social and cultural context.

This an interdisciplinary book which should appeal to students and scholars across a range of disciplines, including gender studies, Asian studies, China studies, cultural studies and film studies.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Women, the Revolutionary Opera Films and the Cultural Revolution

Chapter Two: Smashing of the Four Old Ways: Transformations of Gender Construction from Confucian China to Maoist China

Chapter Three: Masculine Honour, Feminine Shame: The Reconstruction of Gender in the Revolutionary Opera Films

Chapter Four: Patriarchal Power and Ideological Apparatuses: The Image of Female Warriors in the Revolutionary Opera Films


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Zhuying Li holds a Master’s Degree from Monash University and a Ph.D. in Communication and Media Studies from RMIT University in Australia. Her research areas include gender studies, China studies, and cultural studies.