Reimagining Masculinities in East Asia

Carman K. M. Fung1, Michaela Luschmann1, Patrick Murphy1, Ana Dragojlovic1

1University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

Chair: Carman K.M. Fung


From the Japanese salaryman, the ‘spornosexual’, to the “pan-Asian soft masculinity” (Jung 2009), there is little doubt that across East Asian media representations have brought attention to an ongoing shift in the ways masculinity is conceptualised, spoken of, and practiced. Changes in how masculinities are negotiated are becoming more and more salient across media and public discourses. This panel takes on the ideas of gender and sexuality, exploring the manners in which they are reinforced, contested, and/or imagined through media, stereotypes, and identity politics in the Japanese and Chinese (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) contexts.

Each of these papers take different approaches to question and disrupt ideas of hegemonic masculinity, by exploring the ways that multiple masculinities function in society, while also calling into question heteronormative structures that are prevalent across cultures. Through interviews around performance and identity, critical discourse analysis of love advice, as well as multimodal analysis of productions of ideologies in pornographic media, this panel explores the working of ideology and discourse in the production of masculinities and sexuality in these regions.

Work Cited:

Jung, Sun. 2009. “The Shared Imagination of Bishönen, Pan-East Asian Soft Masculinity.” Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia 20.



The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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