The Sheng Nü Discourse, and New Hegemonic Ideals in China’s Dating TV Shows

Document Type


Presentation Date

Fall 10-23-2016

Conference Name

Global Fusion

Conference Location

Temple University, Philadelphia

Peer Review



This paper examines the gender performance magnified in dating TV shows widespread in post-socialist China. Focusing on the reconstruction of gender identities by participants of Fei Cheng Wu Rao (If You Are the One), representative of the dating show genre, the analysis sheds light on how both female and male participants navigate the quandaries of evolving gender politics—the intertwined fomentations of the derogatory “sheng nü” ( “leftover women”) discourse and the new hegemonic ideals. The paper argues that the returning of patriarchal construction of gender in the post-socialist state is exacerbated the neoliberal commercialization and marketization accentuating the exchange value of love and marriage, and remapping the class codes onto both feminine and masculine bodies.


dating TV shows, "leftover women, " hegemonic masculinity, neoliberal gender politics


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Film and Media Studies | Women's Studies

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