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Tongzhi LivingMen Attracted to Men in Postsocialist China$
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Tiantian Zheng

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816691999

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816691999.001.0001

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The Normal Postsocialist Subject

The Normal Postsocialist Subject

Class, Wealth, and Money Boys

Chapter:
(p.96) Chapter 4 The Normal Postsocialist Subject
Source:
Tongzhi Living
Author(s):

Tiantian Zheng

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816691999.003.0005

Chapter 4 unravels tongzhi’s negotiations and interactions with the dominant discourse of the “normal” postsocialist person and the impact this discourse has on the class structure, career, and romantic relationships among tongzhi. Although class structure among Chinese tongzhi is largely shaped by wealth, higher-classtongzhi can practice “covert gayness” because they can afford to eat and drink and congregate in more secretive places, such as high-cost bars. Lower-class tongzhi are compelled to practice more “overt gayness” because they tend to cruise in free, open spaces, such as parks and public bathrooms. The dominant discourse of the normal person also impinges on the intimacies of romantic relationships and career choices of some rural migrant men who work as money boys in hopes of accumulating enough money to catapult themselves to a higher class, such as businessmen. Wealth and class are implicated in the selection of partners and in the intimacy of romantic relationships. This chapter argues that tongzhi embrace the dominant discourse in order to pronounce themselves as normal postsocialist persons. In so doing, they paradoxically are co-opted by the state apparatus, thereby legitimizing and perpetuating state power.

Keywords:   postsocialism, Chinese class system, LGBT community, public vs private, cultural criticism, state apparatus, dominant discourse, state power, social issues

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