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The Global Intercultural Communication Reader, 2e, 2nd Edition by Jing Yin, Yoshitaka Miike, Molefi Kete Asante

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24

Superheroes in Shanghai

Constructing Transnational Western Men’s Identities

Phiona Stanley

This chapter is Phiona Stanley’s ethnographic analysis of Western men’s identity in China. She investigates the “superhero” phenomenon in which Western masculinity is constructed differently in East Asia. She interviewed seven Western men, who were working in Shanghai as English language teachers, about their intercultural encounters with Chinese females. According to her, Western men in Asia may be treated as “superheroes” with implicit reference to the power bestowed by their racial and national identities. Her findings are strikingly similar to Kelly’s (Chapter 23) personal experience in Japan. Stanley reasons that Chinese women’s Occidentalist constructions ...

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