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Confucius Institute Talk

17 May 2018

White-collar Beauties: Gender, Sexuality and Power in Urban China

Join Dr Jieyu Liu (SOAS China Institute) on Thursday, 24th May for an insightful talk on gender, sexuality and power in urban China. 

This talk is about the experiences of highly educated young professional women, hailed by the Chinese media as ‘white-collar beauties’. It exposes the organisational mechanisms – naturalisation, objectification and commodification of women – that wield gendered and sexual control in post-Mao workplaces. Whilst men benefit from symbolic and bureaucratic power, women professionals skilfully enact indirect power in a game of domination and resistance. The sources of women’s subversion are grounded in their only-child upbringing which breaks the patrilineal base of familial patriarchy fostering an unprecedented ambition in personal development, gender as inherently relational and a role-oriented system, and inner-outer cultural boundaries as signifiers of moral agency. This raises a new feminist inquiry about the agents for social change. Through a nuanced analysis grounded in the socio-cultural locality, Dr Jieyu Liu (SOAS China Institute) throws fresh light upon the ways in which gender, sexuality and power could be theorised beyond a Euro-American reality.

More information 

Thursday, 24th May from 1:00 to 2:00pm at A116, Samuel Alexander Buidling