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QUEST FOR PURE LOVE AND EQUAL RELATIONSHIP: THE GENESIS AND MEANING OF CHINESE DANMEI NOVEL

Abstract
Danmei, a genre of Chinese online fiction very popular among young Chinese females, refers to narratives of male-on-male romance. Studies of danmei, however, have been limited to the fields of Chinese language and literary studies. The genesis, development, and impact of danmei have not been systematically studied in a broader context. This thesis gives a detailed account of the emergence of Chinese danmei online fiction and its development by introducing studies of Japanese Boys Love culture, the source of danmei, and Western Slash Fiction. I also provide a case study of Beijing Gushi (Beijing Story), one of most influential Chinese danmei narratives and some other online danmei narratives in order to discuss Chinese young Chinese females’ thinking about gender equality, women’s rights, and the family. The rise and popularity of danmei fiction show that, while young Chinese females have already noticed the gender inequality in Chinese society and are eager for change, the patriarchal ideology still controls them. At the same time, danmei offers women a fantasy space to assert their subjectivity.
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