Constructing shou-nyus' identity and desire: The politics of translation in Taiwanese Sex and the City

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In examining the visibility of Shou-nyus through Diaries of Shou-nyus' Desire, this article argues that the formation of Shou-nyu identity should be geo-culturally situated. In this context, globalization is the objective condition for subject constitution in Taiwan, popularizing and localizing auratic commodities like Sex and the City as the primary resources for highly mediated Shou-nyu identity. In translating Sex and the City to Taiwan, American hegemony and a celebrity system legitimating and promoting consumption function as the two dominant modes of interpretation. Another local mechanism - heteronormative culture, one that relies on the de-politicization and privatization of women's intimacy and work - also frames and tames the local version of Sex and the City. The exclusion of political themes, however, relies on the construction of an abject other, the 'obason' (the popular description of the middle-aged and unsophisticated 'auntie'). Fear of becoming an obason is alleviated through consumption to achieve a more cosmopolitan and urbane Shou-nyu identity, which in turn, facilitates the workings of global capitalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-249
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies


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