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The making of Taiwanese young men: (De) traditionalization, consumption and blogging in late modernity

By Po-Wei Chen

Abstract

This research explores a particular group of Taiwanese young men and their gendered experiences. It draws upon theories of late modernity, cultural studies, and feminist research. A primary aim is to explore the dialectical interplay between the existing gender configuration and how it is culturally lived out. This thesis argues that through processes of detraditionalization, young men are able to lead a life outside of a traditional gendered route, such as that of an earlier generation. Rather than the ‘norm-al’ biography, what is endorsed by the younger generation is a ‘do-it-yourself’ biography. This will be illustrated by the young men’s narratives about their gendered experiences in the context of consumption and blogging. However, local tradition does not disappear in contemporary Taiwanese society. Tradition is understood as a complex resource, in making sense of their gendered lives, in relation to a notion of filial responsibility. A generational self-awareness, marked by difference and continuity, is intensified by a tension between existing tradition and processes of detraditionalization. Deriving from cultural understandings of the younger research participants, in comparison to those of the elder generation, this qualitative study endeavours to contribute to the under-theorized notion of tradition in a late modernity framework. It also considers the importance of how gendered reflexivity is unevenly embodied, and has becomes a contemporary strategy for the continuation of local tradition. By emphasizing the significance of understanding (late modernity) gender and (traditional) culture via their lived experience, this research wishes to bring together some of the experiential, theoretical, and methodological complexity involved in the making of young Taiwanese men

Topics: HM Sociology
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.bham.ac.uk:977

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