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'Smart is the Nü (boshi) Sexy': How China's PhD women are fighting stereotypes using social media


Zeng, Jing (2020). 'Smart is the Nü (boshi) Sexy': How China's PhD women are fighting stereotypes using social media. In: Warfield, K; Abidin, C; Cambre, C. Mediated interfaces : The body on social media. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 159-173.

Abstract

In China there is a famous saying: ‘There are three types of people: men, women, and nü boshi (women with PhDs)’. As this maxim suggests, highly educated women in China can be perceived as ‘non-feminine’, 'non-sexual', and ‘undateable’. Alongside the impacts of traditional gender stereotypes, news and popular media play an important role in propagating and reinforcing the negative image of highly educated women in China. However, as China’s nü boshi become more visible and vocal, especially on social media, they are collectively countering prevailing stereotypes. This chapter discusses the contestation around the image of nü boshi on social media in China. It begins with an introduction of the cultural and socio-political background of the widely existing bias against nü boshi. The second part of the chapter looks into how nü boshi challenge negative stereotypes of themselves on social media, through case studies on microblog-based campaigns and the use of live streaming platforms.

Abstract

In China there is a famous saying: ‘There are three types of people: men, women, and nü boshi (women with PhDs)’. As this maxim suggests, highly educated women in China can be perceived as ‘non-feminine’, 'non-sexual', and ‘undateable’. Alongside the impacts of traditional gender stereotypes, news and popular media play an important role in propagating and reinforcing the negative image of highly educated women in China. However, as China’s nü boshi become more visible and vocal, especially on social media, they are collectively countering prevailing stereotypes. This chapter discusses the contestation around the image of nü boshi on social media in China. It begins with an introduction of the cultural and socio-political background of the widely existing bias against nü boshi. The second part of the chapter looks into how nü boshi challenge negative stereotypes of themselves on social media, through case studies on microblog-based campaigns and the use of live streaming platforms.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:China, social media, nü boshi, microblogs, live streaming
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:17 Feb 2021 08:29
Last Modified:17 Feb 2021 08:29
Publisher:Bloomsbury Academic
ISBN:9781501356193
OA Status:Closed
Related URLs:https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/mediated-interfaces-9781501356193/ (Publisher)

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