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Title:Representing Divorce, Reforming Interiority: Narratives of Gender, Class and Family in Post-Reform Chinese Literature and Culture
Author(s):Xiao, Hui
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Xu, Gary G.
Department / Program:East Asian Languages and Cultures
Discipline:East Asian Languages and Cultures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Asian Studies
Abstract:This project stands at the juncture of modern Chinese literature, post-socialist studies, cultural history of divorce, and critical studies about global middle-class cultures. Employing analytical tools mainly from literary studies, cultural studies and feminist theories, I examine stories, novels, films and TV dramas about divorce produced between 1980 and 2004, in the wake of China's "economic reform and opening up" as well as the post-Reform China's changing divorce scene. Investigating the transforming intersections of gender, family, and class, I argue that divorce is not simply represented as the disintegration of a conjugal family. Rather, divorce is represented more of a projection of the ongoing reconfiguration of Chinese family structure in alignment with the localization of a global middle-class culture, a intimate imagination of which has been circulated through imported films, TV dramas, domestic fiction, interior design magazines and so on. In other words, divorce representations play a key role in projecting and channeling the desire and fantasy of a middle-class domestic culture and in remapping a harmonious and self-contained domestic and psychic interior cut off from both the revolutionary past and the marketplace. Tackling rampant gender-related social problems in contemporary Chinese society, my research also seeks to address the predicaments that divorced women are confronted with in the process of actively negotiating their self-value and gender identity.
Issue Date:2009
Description:267 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3395545
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2009

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