Sexism in Wireless China

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:00
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Zhuo JING-SCHMIDT, University of Oregon, USA
Sexism in wireless China

This study explores gender bias and sexism as reflected in the Chinese cyber lexicon and discourse, drawing implications for the sociology of new media and for the sociolinguistic study of women in society.  On the one hand, I examine cyber neologisms that construct and perpetuate gendered social categories. On the other hand, I analyze the appropriation of existing social categories for the sexist representation of women and femininity in cyber discourse. I show that the Chinese Internet provides an unprecedented discursive space in which anonymity in networked mass communication allows wide propagation and circulation of a discriminative gender ideology and gender policy, sexism, and misogyny. Furthermore, I make the observation that women participate in gendered discourses in the cyberspace that undercut their own power and perpetuate gender inequality.  The fact that women themselves are part of the social currents that undermine gender equality in wireless China reflects a larger pattern of persisting sexism in Chinese society.