This book explores how political, economic, social, cultural and technological forces are (re)shaping the meanings of love and intimacy in China's public culture. It focuses on a range of cultural and media forms including literature, film, television, music and new media, examines new cultural practices such as online activism, virtual intimacy and relationship counselling, and discusses how far love and romance have come to assume new shapes and forms in the twenty-first century. Love Stories in China offers deep insights into how the huge transformation of China over the last four decades has impacted the micro lives of ordinary Chinese people.
Section 1: Marriage in trouble, Chapter 1 Love stories in contemporary China: cultural production in the new millennium, Wanning Sun and Ling Yang, Chapter 2 Is it better to cry on a BMW or laugh on a bicycle? Television shows, marriage and the production of class in urban China Roberta Zavoretti, Chapter 3 Successology for women: relationship experts and sociobiological discourses Haiping Liu, Chapter 4 Holding virtual hands: an ethical practice against male infidelity in digital China, Yi Zhou, Section 2: Rural–urban inequality, Chapter 5 ‘Phoenix men’: changing representations of urban–rural marriages in contemporary China, Guoqing Zheng, Chapter 6 Negotiating class and the rural–urban divide in urban homes: configuring the maid in literature and popular culture Yanwen Li, Chapter 7 Wounded masculinities: the subaltern between online longings and offline realities Tingting Liu, Section 3: Gender, race and class, Chapter 8 Women in rural romantic love: gender politics in television dramas, Huike Wen Chapter 9 ‘Tiny Times’, persistent love: gender, class and relationships in post-1980s bestsellers Ling Yang Chapter 10 The ‘social factory’ of China’s male ‘virtual lovers’ Chris K. K. Tan and Zhiwei Xu, Chapter 11 International romance: changing discourses of Chinese–foreign intimacy in the decades of economic reforms Pan Wang, Section 4: Queer voices, Chapter 12 The emerging ‘national husband’: queer female fantasy in popular culture Jamie J. Zhao, Chapter 13 ‘Revolution plus love?’ Online fandom of the television drama series The Disguiser Xiqing Zheng, Chapter 14 A love story: Li Yuchun’s fans and contemporary Chinese singledom Maud Lavin