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Title: The self-understandings and everyday lives of gay men in Hainan
Authors: Cummings, James Robert
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Drawing on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Hainan, People’s Republic of China (PRC), especially 30 semi-structured interviews, this thesis explores the self-understandings and everyday lives of men who recognised themselves as gay, homosexual, tongzhi (comrade), and/or ‘in the scene’ (quanneiren). Given the choice of field site, this thesis is one of a handful of sociological studies to explore the lives of non-heterosexual people in the PRC outside of major urban centres, and potentially the first to do so in a region that has historically been considered ‘marginal’. As such, an exploratory approach is taken in engaging with a range of concepts and contexts that participants saw as central to their self-understandings and everyday lives. Specifically, this thesis explores the ways in which participants constructed and experienced ‘the scene’ (quan) as a framework of social-sexual belonging, perceived internet technologies as having deeply impacted their everyday lives, and narrated their lives as dis/oriented towards certain futures. These issues can be seen as complexly intertwined; they are drawn together in this thesis under an overarching concern for the ways in which participants negotiated understandings of themselves, in relation to others, within socio-cultural and material contexts of emergent social-sexual possibilities and pervasive pressures to marry and have children. In exploring these issues, this thesis draws upon a range of sociological and anthropological perspectives.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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