Tongzhi Wenhua: The Developing Queer Culture and Community in the People's Republic of China Jonathan Goldman and George Simpson

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This summer, we are conducting a project in People?s Republic of China (PRC) in order to further understand Chinese tongzhi (homosexual) culture. As mainland China slowly liberalizes and modernizes, Chinese tongzhi are in the process of creating new social spaces for themselves. These spaces manifest as either places to express their identity more freely (i.e. dance clubs, websites, or lounges) or places to understand homosexuality (i.e. classes in educational institutes, research centers, or culture festivals). Chinese society is changing quickly and new social spaces and organizations have arisen in the major cities around China since research was last conducted there. We plan to document the progression of this development in Chinese tongzhi identity and culture. The closest research to what we propose focuses on Chinese tongzhi and their relation to the Chinese dominant culture. Our research would differ from this, as we are seeking to investigate the self-generated tongzhi culture and social spaces, in terms of its progress, participation, and acceptance. It will focus on the following core questions: What spaces are available for tongzhi to express their sexual identity in urban China? What degree of participation is there at these various spaces? And, how effective are these spaces in improving the lives of Chinese tongzhi and in changing society?s attitude towards them?


Sarah Chen




The Paul K. & Evalyn E. Cook Richter Trusts - International Fellowship

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