Walking a tightrope on (hetero)sexuality: Performatively vigilant masculine subjectivity in response to sexualized culture

Mario LIONG, Lih Shing CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although young men's subjectivity continues to be defined in terms of their heterosexual performance, they feel vulnerable when women increasingly resist submission to men's desire and control. However, the sexual objectification of women, driven by consumerist urban culture and commercial media, is rapidly pushing the boundaries of men's (hetero)sexual expression. Men are thus compelled to renegotiate their masculine heterosexual subjectivities in response to women's resistance and the demands of the moralistic middle-class society. Based on the performativity–performance framework, this article uses focus group data with Hong Kong college men to illustrate the ways that Chinese young men are "performatively vigilant," resorting to different cultural and discursive resources to construct multiple and diverse subjectivities in defining manhood and responding to their vulnerabilities in different relational contexts. In this process, the hegemony of men as sexually and culturally superior to women and in control of themselves and the situation is propagated. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-241
JournalMen and Masculinities
Volume23
Issue number2
Early online date18 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2020

Citation

Liong, M., & Chan, L. S. (2020). Walking a tightrope on (hetero)sexuality: Performatively vigilant masculine subjectivity in response to sexualized culture. Men and Masculinities, 23(2), 225-241. doi: 10.1177/1097184X17753267

Keywords

  • Chinese masculinity
  • Masculine subjectivity
  • Performativity
  • Performance
  • Sexualized media culture
  • Vulnerability
  • Young men

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