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Co-constructing a gender-state entanglement in canonical Three Kingdoms fandom: A discourse-historical approach

Peng, A. Y., Liu, F. & Chen, T. ORCID: 0000-0003-2450-277X (2023). Co-constructing a gender-state entanglement in canonical Three Kingdoms fandom: A discourse-historical approach. Asian Studies Review, 48(2), pp. 410-429. doi: 10.1080/10357823.2023.2245130


Adopting a discourse-historical approach (DHA), we analyse how male influencers and their followers co-construct a gender–state entanglement through social-mediated discussions about a mythologised historical figure, Zhuge Liang, on Bilibili. The analysis discovers that the historical figure is portrayed as a wen–wu masculinity archetype, whose imaginary is modified against current socio-cultural trends and intertextually linked to China’s nation-building project. The masculinist valorisation of the historical figure of Zhuge reiterates the male takeover of nationalist politics as a defining feature of popular cultural production and consumption in post-reform China. The study makes a meaningful contribution to scholarship about Three Kingdoms fandom by showing how past memories and present events converge in Chinese-language social-mediated communication, where heteronormative visions and worldviews are consistently overrepresented.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Publisher Keywords: China; discourse-historical approach (DHA); gender–state entanglement; masculinity; Three Kingdoms fandom; wen–wu (ideal male archetype); Zhuge Liang
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Media & Communications
SWORD Depositor:
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