Study Abroad and Exchanges



CHN4009 : Gender and Media in Modern China (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Given that “maleness” and “femaleness” are socially and culturally defined, the media is one obvious and powerful tool to produce and circulate the assumptions and ideas of what it means to be a “man” or a “woman”. This module discusses gender discourses in contemporary China as produced and disseminated by a range of media. The discussion focuses on films, but also covers TV programmes, magazines, advertisements, music and the Internet. The module also examines the ways in which the public responds to media representations of gender and actively involves in the construction of masculinity and femininity. Attention will also be given to an analysis of Chinese society and the changing boundaries of Chinese culture and gender identity.

This module aims:
1) To introduce images and archetypes of Chinese men and women as portrayed and circulated in various forms of media in China.
2) To examine the production and reception of media representations of gender in relation to a wider context of cultural heritage and social changes in contemporary China.
3) To discuss the influence of the media on the (self)-definition of gender identity of Chinese people.

Outline Of Syllabus

The first session is an introduction to the module and aims to provide theoretical framework and cultural context. The subsequent weeks are designed as 1 hour survey lecture followed by 1 hour student-led seminar.

Weekly programme
•       Introduction
•       Suffering women in a century of Chinese Cinema
•       Modern Huan Mulan: women warriors on Chinese screen
•       Women in predicament: Chinese women’s films
•       Remasculinization of Chinese men in contemporary Chinese films and television
•       Male bonding and romantic hero films
•       Ideal women and men in lifestyle magazines and advertisement
•       Gender bending in modern China: a tradition and a trend
•       Reconstructing manhood, womanhood and sexuality in Chinese pop music
•       Homosexual representations: from underground to mainstream
•       Discussing sexuality in contemporary Chinese media

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture141:0014:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching72:0014:00Guided film screening
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminar.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1160:00160:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1) Lectures provide students with background information and familiarise them with gender issues raised in different media texts.
2) The subsequent seminars provide an opportunity for students to discuss gender representations in media and the way these representations reflect and at the same time shape public perception and social definitions of masculinity and femininity. Seminars also provide a chance for students to present arguments in an appropriate fashion independently and within a team.
3) Students will be expected to read preparatory texts closely and watch required films as lectures and seminars will assume knowledge of these.
The module will be taught and assessed in English.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation81M20Week 11.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A803000 words. Questions released in week 7 for submission in Assessment Period.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay allows evaluation of the development of the following cognitive and key skills: independent research, bibliographical work, planning and organisation, word-processing, footnoting and referencing. The presentation allows evaluation of communication skills and planning and organisation skills, and prepares students for their final essay writing.

Resit essay, 4,000 words. An essay, to be written in English.

Reading Lists