In the second of a short run of episodes focusing on LGBT topics for LGBT History Month, The Provocateur talks to Philip Freestone, a PhD candidate in Linguistics at the University of Reading, about discourses of marriage and sexuality among men who have sex with men (MSMs) in contemporary mainland China. In particular, we focus on Philip’s interest in the recent explosion of matchmaking websites that set up marriages of convenience between non-heterosexual men and women and the ways in which this phenomenon reflects culturally ingrained understandings of homosexuality. Among other things, we discuss Confucian ideals of marriage and how they restrict non-normative sexual expression; the tension between public indifference towards homosexuality and private shame; the consequences of the one-child policy for the marriage market; and the potential for homosexual and bisexual men to exploit the traditional archetype of the effeminate scholar in Chinese conceptions of masculinity in order to contest heteronormativity.
You can listen to the podcast here:
If you are interested in getting in touch with Phil, feel free to email him at: P.J.Freestone@pgr.reading.ac.uk.
Altman, D. (1997) ‘Global Gaze/Global Gays’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 3(4), pp. 417-436.
Cho, J. (2009) ‘The Wedding Banquet Revisited: “Contract Marriages” Between Korean Gays and Lesbians‘, Anthropological Quarterly 82(2), pp. 401-422.
Chou, W. S. (2000) Tongzhi: Politics of Same-Sex Eroticism in Chinese Societies. Binghamton: Haworth Press.
Gee, J. P. (2015) Social Linguistics and Literacies: Ideology in Discourses, fifth edition. London: Routledge.
Hinsch, B. (1990) Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China. Oxford: University of California Press.
Ho, L. W. W. (2010) Gay and Lesbian Subculture in Urban China. Abingdon: Routledge.
Jones, R. H. (2012) Discourse Analysis. Oxford and New York: Routledge.
Louie, K. (2002) Theorising Chinese Masculinity: Society and Gender in China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kong, T. S. (2011) Chinese Male Homosexualities: Memba, Tongzhi and Golden Boy. Oxford: Routledge.
Lau, H. et al. (2017) ‘Assessing the Tongzhi Label: Self-Identification and Public Opinion‘, Journal of Homosexuality 64(4), pp. 509-522.
Leap, W. and T. Boellstorff (2004) Speaking in Queer Tongues: Globalization and Gay Language. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
Li, Y. (2006) ‘Regulating male same-sex relationships in the People’s Republic of China’, in Jeffreys, E. (ed.) Sex and Sexuality in China. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 82-101.
Miège, P. (2009) ‘“In my Opinion, most Tongzhi are Dutiful Sons!” Community, social norms, and construction of identity among young homosexuals in Hefei, Anhui Province‘, China Perspectives 1, pp. 40-53.
Rofel, L. (2007) Desiring China: Experiments in Neoliberalism, Sexuality, and Public Culture. Durham: Duke University Press.
Scollon, R. and S. W. Scollon (2004) Nexus Analysis: Discourse and the Emerging Internet. London: Routledge.
Scollon, R. et al. (2012) Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach. Oxford: Wiley & Sons.
Wei, W. (2016) ‘Good Gay Buddies for Lifetime: Homosexually Themed Discourse and the Construction of Heteromasculinity Among Chinese Urban Youth’, Journal of Homosexuality (pre-print publication)