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The Changing Images of Women in Modern Chinese Culture

Images of women in Chinese culture from historical time periods until their representation today. Implications about their image on modern Chinese culture and what it reflects about Chinese culture is also mentioned.
by

Mary L

on 23 April 2013

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Transcript of The Changing Images of Women in Modern Chinese Culture

&the implication these images imply about modern Chinese culture The Changing Images of Women throughout Chinese Culture and their Representation Today Why should we study the changing images of women in Chinese culture? Sources Two points why: The Traditional, Conservative Women: Pre-1900's Changing Images of Women in Modern Chinese Culture The Bourgeois Chinese Women: 1930-1940 The 1930s presented a rise in commercial and visual culture depicting images of women in glamorous outfits and settings. Since there was a rise in the women's liberation movement in China during this time period, women felt like they had the freedom to finally engage themselves in a social setting and had the freedom to choose their own clothing. Particularly in Shanghai, the modernization of this city provided a glamorous atmosphere and a colorful nightlife. Commercialism on products targeted toward modern Chinese women on beauty began to arise, and "calendar girls" were present to emphasis this glamorous image of women. Highlighting this luxurious, aesthetic image of women even more, the first beauty contest-"Miss Shanghai"-arose during this decade. The Contemporary Chinese Women: 2000-Present Images of Chinese women during the pre-1900's period reflects the traditional, conservative culture of China. Images of women in contemporary Chinese culture are not depicted by one specific model, but rather depict many types of women. China today display that women may be sexualized, commercialized, glamorized, naturalized, and even display a mix between traditional and modern culture. In modern times, these images display an urbanized culture that now exhibits materialism and consumerism to display a more market driven culture in present day China; at the same time, the emergence of many cultural icons have expanded the image of a modern Chinese woman to display a new, diversified, modern Chinese culture. The Working Chinese Women: 1950-1970 During this period, or the Maoist Period, images of women changed once again; completely contrasting the luxury of the 1930's, images of women from the 1950-1970 displayed them as the strong and hard working women. Instead of wearing fashionable clothing, women were always shown wearing plain and simple clothing and their hair in tight braids. Contrasting with the emphasis on aesthetic appeal in the 1930's, images of women during this period emphasized on their abilities and skills. The Great Leap Forward Campaign in the 1950s portrayed women as "model workers"; the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s displayed women as Red Guards; and, leading into the 1970s, women were named the "Iron Girls." Conclusion Progressing from the pre-1900's decades all the way until present day, changing images of women have reflected the changing culture of China during these decades. One thing that should be noted is the definition of the word "modern". Although it seems like only contemporary China is "modern", this word needs to take into account time. In the 1930's, China was considered modern because it strayed from the tradition. Currently, China is once again considered modern because it advanced from the Maoist era. Thus, as China advances and progresses, it will continuously be reaching a new "modern" as a new decade arrives. Conclusion The images of women from 2000-present day display a drastic shift from the Maoist era. With the emergence of many economic reforms and growth and the integration of aspects from Western culture, Chinese culture has become much more diverse. In addition, the urbanization of Chinese culture paved the way for a new consumer culture in which advertisements view women as consumers. The arrival of many female artists and actresses, such as pop singer Li Yuchun, expanded and diversified the image of women while the increasing emergence of fashion in China contributed to the new consumer culture by offering a variety of clothing for contemporary Chinese women and new ways they could change their image. 1. Researching the changing images of women throughout Chinese culture helps us better understand modern Chinese culture because the changing images of women all reflect a piece of China's culture that has contributed to the new, contemporary, modern culture today. Since images of women are constantly changing with each decade, this demonstrates how China's culture is very dynamic-leaving, passing on, alternating, and introducing new cultures that have all played a role in shaping a modern culture in China. In addition, images of women also provided key clues to the roles or characters women assumed during those times. The diverse images of women in modern China today not only reflect a diverse culture within Chinese society, but it also displays a variety of roles women can now take on. For example, images of women such as China's first lady, Peng Liyuan; singer Li Yuchun; actress Zhang Ziyi; and China's first female astronaut Liu Yang, all display diverse roles that play a part in impacting modern Chinese culture and opening up more opportunities that women can take on. Thus, changing images of women display how the roles and representations of women have changed over time and how these have in turn helped shape the modern Chinese culture today. Images of Chinese women are similar to images of American women. Similar modern American and Chinese runway fashion Images of women displaying a commercialized culture in America and China Similar "working women" image in the past In the pre-1900's decades, images of women were shown wearing long, layered dresses that allowed no skin to show and abnormally small feet due to painful foot binding procedures. These restrictive clothing and practices displayed how China's culture at this time was very conservative. The "common people" had little say while the emperors dictated the rules; images of women, especially the conservative way they dressed, reflected this very confined culture of China. The many decades in which images of women during the pre-1900's remained unchanged displayed how Chinese culture and society remained unchanged, closing themselves off to new ideas and failing to progress from their traditional values. As we'll see throughout this presentation, the ways images of women change reflects how China's culture also changes, slowly reaching towards the modern culture it embodies today. britannica.com traditions.culture-china.com history.cultural-china.com Early-Mid 1900's Mid-Late 1900's Modern Day Alexander McQueen Zhang Jingjing businessinsider.com asianmodelsblog.com history.com portsmouthpoint.blogspot.com http://resources.primarysource.org/content.php?pid=78888&sid=584080 Google Book:China Briefing: The Contradictions of Change Google Book: Challenging Images of Women in the Media: Reinventing Women's Lives http://www.chinahush.com/2010/10/04/from-1900-to-2010-variation-of-chinese-woman-fashion/ http://www.bridgew.edu/soas/jiws/vol1/li.htm Professor Tang's Lectures First Reason: Women emerged as an important part of the Chinese population through their impact on Chinese society. It is interesting to see how representations of women during specific historical time periods reflect Chinese culture during these times. Second Reason: The changing images of women display how China's culture and society is changing, and how these changing cultures have all helped shape modern Chinese culture. As a whole, they have helped to provide implications about modern Chinese culture today. chinaenews.wordpress.com wikipedia.org time.com creativegreed.com wfashion12.blogspot.com hdwallpaperarenas.com asiansociety.org neatorama.com In contrast to the traditional, conservative role, women are now given the opportunity to use their own independence to dictate how they look (showing of skin) and to use this new freedom to experience different societal activities (like dancing). Contrasting the previously "covered" look, women show how they are no longer constricted by previous traditional roles. These new, glamorous images of women display the influence of women on changing traditional Chinese culture and the emergence of a commercial culture in China. The Bourgeois Chinese Women: 1930-1940 anovelmenagerie.com onlineposterprinting.com asianart.org chinahush.com Images of women during this period exhibited luxury and wealth-the emergence of a commercial culture & a break from the traditional. The Working Chinese Women: 1950-1970 bigwowo.com These images of women display how China's culture in 1950-1970 is focused on collectivism, showing its focus on collectively revolutionizing its society. By showing girls doing tasks that are typically geared toward men, women are seen as leaders impacting Chinese culture and displaying them as equals to men. These images of women during this period show how China is moving towards a collective culture and how Chinese culture also values women as important members in revolutionizing China. chineseposters.net Images of women portrayed them as leaders-strong and independent to display a rising collective culture in China and the important role women plays in changing Chinese society. chineseposters.net The Contemporary Chinese Women: 2000-Present chinaenews.com news.stareastasia.com china.org.cn chinadaily.com.cn cbsnews.com Images of Chinese women today display the market-driven, consumer culture in China along with the emerging diversity within modern Chinese culture. Conclusion 2. Through this final research project, I was surprised to learn that the changing images of women were very similar to the changing images of women in America. The traditional women was similar to the traditional, housewife role confining American women; the Bourgeois Chinese Women was similar to the 1920's flapper women in lifestyle and its glamorous appearance; the Working Chinese Women was similar to the American women who had to take on the men's jobs during World War I; and the Contemporary Chinese Women is much like the diverse images of modern women seen in present day America (Peng Liyuan could be compared to Michelle Obama!). Although in America it is often assumed that China is radically different, this research project has shown me that modern Chinese culture is not too different from modern American culture. The market-driven, consumerism culture is apparent in both countries, while the various images of women display the diverse, rich culture that are similar yet different with the shaping of its unique, historical roots. biography.com news.yahoo.com contemporaryhousewife.com wikipedia.org hubpages.com guardian.co.uk time.com freespeechdebate.com
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