This thesis examines the reception of five contemporary Chinese glam-writers and their works in mainland China. It explores three different types of reception by three reading constituencies: literary critics, actual women readers, and participants on the glam-writers’ personal blogs. Drawing in part on western reception theory and reader-response criticism, this thesis focuses on the role of the reader in reading and interpreting the glam-writers’ works and makes an original empirical contribution to audience research in mainland China where such research is as yet not developed. By adopting a range of qualitative research methods, I investigate the ways in which contemporary Chinese readers understand and respond to a particular type of women’s literature at the turn of the twenty-first century. I demonstrate that Chinese readers are not merely passive recipients of the literary works, or ‘cultural dupes’ (Hall 1981), but both savage – in the sense of severe – and savant readers of popular culture. This also means that the negative influences of these works, as predicted by Chinese mainstream literary critics, are not evident in actual readers’ responses to these texts
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