Finding Mr. Masculine – Historical Formation and Cultural Meaning of the “Alpha Male” Image since China’S New Era

Project: Research project

Project Details


At the end of the 1970s, the Japanese movie Manhunt starring Ken Takakura became highly popular in China, and, for a period of time, Ken Takakura was the poster child of the “masculine” image among the Chinese audiences. This resulted in a “masculine”-related discussion in the China Youth magazine about re-building the male quality, which then became a widely discussed topic among the intellectual circles as well as the general public. This was also reflected in the literatures written since the New Era. In fact, the 1980 literatures were characterized by this large number of “alpha male” type characters. From the earlier writers such as Jiang Zilong and Zhang Xianliang, to Post-Tiananmen writers such as Zhang Chengzhi, Zhang Wei and Mo Yan, they all created many vivid masculine characters, yet, they all differed in their internal motives and thinking. This research intended to explore the historical cause and cultural meaning of the formation of the alpha male image through analyzing the “masculine” images in the contemporary Chinese novels since the New Era to the 1990s. In addition, this study would investigate how the alpha male image interacted with and deviated from literatures, historical experiences and societal trends.
Effective start/end date20-08-0121-07-31


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