VICTIMS, PERPETRATORS AND PROFESSIONALS The Representation of Women in Chinese Crime Films

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Victims, Perpetrators and Professionals examines the representation of women in relation to violence in Chinese crime films made on the mainland, and in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It introduces a new trajectory in the investigation of the cinematic representation of female figures in relation to gender issues by interweaving Western feminist and postfeminist critiques with traditional Chinese sociocultural discourse.
An in-depth narrative identifies three major representations of women: the female victim, the female perpetrator of violence, and the female professional. Salience to contemporary society shows up in many ways, passive and active, all of which reinforce a sense of male dominance and patriarchal power. Analysis bridges the gap in the field of female representation in Chinese culture/Chinese film studies by systematically examining Chinese crime films as a genre in its own right. The depiction of female victimisation at the hands of men in the selected crime films consolidates the notion of women’s vulnerability and inferiority as perceived in Chinese gender discourse. On the other hand, the representation of active female perpetrators of violence, and as professional working women, presents what may be seen as a postfeminist masquerade – a cultural strategy that shows an ostensible impression of female empowerment albeit that it reinforces traditional gender hierarchies in the Chinese gender context. While graphic female victimisation is commonly presented, female perpetrators of violence and females in professional roles in crime films are shown to remain under the control of male authority, leading to the conclusion that Chinese crime films are produced in a context of heavy patriarchal power and misogyny.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEastbourne
Number of pages156
ISBN (Print)978-1-78976-092-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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