This very timely, well-written and insightful exploration of gay identity and queer activism in the PRC is a quantum leap in scholarship on queer China. It examines the PRC's socialist legacy and considers how the country is undergoing rapid transformations under the influence of transnational capitalism.
This very timely, well-written and insightful exploration of gay identity and queer activism in the People's Republic of China today is more than a study of `queer China' through the lens of male homosexuality; it also examines the PRC's socialist legacy and considers how the country is undergoing rapid transformations under the influence of transnational capitalism. Moreover, although the first of its kind from a cultural studies perspective, this interdisciplinary study speaks to scholars working in disparate fields and provides a sorely needed historical perspective on a very recent phenomenon: queer activism in China. Combining textual analysis of contemporary queer films, fiction and personal diaries, in conjunction with ethnographic research conducted in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou's urban gay communities, the book offers a queer Marxist analysis of sexual identity and social movements in contemporary China, where ideological negotiations between socialism and neoliberalism are constantly played out in the formation of public cultures and intimate spheres. Here, the book critically assesses the role of Marxism and China's socialist legacy in shaping sexual identity, queer popular culture and political activism. Apart from its rich data and incisive analysis, the book has a freshness and persuasiveness in approach and argument. The text is also pleasant and readable, with the author's intelligence, engagement and sunny humour shining through his writing.
Dr Hongwei Bao is Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He holds a PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney, Australia.