This longitudinal study aims to understand the popularity and social significance of the highly prominent Chinese television show Super Girls’ Voice (2005 season), a talent show largely modeled on “reality shows” such as Pop Idol in the United Kingdom, on gender issues. Based on three focus group studies of young females who were audience members in 2007, 2010 and 2015, we contend that the Super Girls who appeared as tomboys, specifically Li Yuchun, were perceived as “handsome” girls by most of the discussants and designated as androgynous girls. Most of the discussants regarded androgyny as a flexible gender identity that integrated the most favorable traits of femininity and masculinity in terms of appearance and personality. Most of discussants also applied this meaning to their social lives. While the discussants who were of school age in 2005 deemed these traits to be resistant to normative femininity and applied them both to their social lives and to their construction of gender identity. From a time-related view, however, we suggest that some discussants relinquished their resistance to appearance by the standards of normative femininity several years later and subsequently renegotiated their identity in alignment with normative femininity. We also observed a ‘single polarization’ of the discussants’ constructed meanings of androgyny.
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2016|
|Event||ICA 2016 - 66th Annual International Communication Association Conference: Communicating With Power - Fukuoka, Japan|
Duration: 9 Jun 2016 → 13 Jun 2016
|Conference||ICA 2016 - 66th Annual International Communication Association Conference|
|Period||9/06/16 → 13/06/16|