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Title:Watching the bromance: Gender and subculture’s masquerade in contemporary China
Author(s):Lin, Ran
Advisor(s):Chen, Jingling
Department / Program:E. Asian Languages & Cultures
Discipline:E Asian Languages & Cultures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.A.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):bromance
gender
subculture
Chinese drama
Abstract:This thesis explores Chinese bromance drama, a new genre of Chinese TV drama that insinuates the homoerotic relationship between male protagonists. This thesis regards the Chinese bromance drama as a masquerade, a middle region, a special cultural field where both the old and the new, as well as the traditional and avant-garde play on the stage, colliding, competing, and communicating with each other. The study uses the example of Word of Honor (2021) to provide a novel and illuminating angle to discuss the true theme of Chinese bromance. By analyzing the male protagonist of Word of Honor, this thesis argues that the new genre embodies the features of androgyny and romance. Though Chinese bromance drama disturbs the conventional alignment of sex, gender, and sexuality, it has failed to transgress the still-dominant patriarchal and heteronormative ideologies. With the gender-role dichotomy and male gaze both questioned and consolidated in Chinese bromance drama, this thesis uncovers the intricate interactions in contemporary China between hegemonic masculinity and femininity, as well as between dominant culture and subcultures. Starting from the changes of the gender discourse in China, this study tries to explore the “hidden voices” in China and present the panorama of contemporary Chinese society.
Issue Date:2021-12-10
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/114019
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Ran Lin
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-04-29
Date Deposited:2021-12


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