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Tactical Bodies and Appropriated Styles: The Fashion Scene of the Dagongmei in Post-Socialist China

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Tactical Bodies and Appropriated Styles: The Fashion Scene of the Dagongmei in Post-Socialist China

Shi, Chengcheng (2019) Tactical Bodies and Appropriated Styles: The Fashion Scene of the Dagongmei in Post-Socialist China. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores how the Dagongmei (young, single rural women who migrate to large cities for lowly paid work), a specifically Chinese subaltern, are “making do” with fashion as a discourse imposed by the dominant socio-economic order. My point of departure is to interrogate how fashion is used by the Dagongmei as a means of survival, as a tactic of social mobility, and as a tool for self-fulfillment. To do this, I track the origin and history of Chinese fashion as well as Chinese peasant’s subject position from the 19th century to the present, analyse the construction of the Dagong worker and the Dagongmei in post-socialist Chinese urban discourse, and briefly describe the relationship between the Dagongmei and the urban-dominated discourse of fashion. I examine representations of the Dagongmei in official discourse and popular media, as well as the lived experience of the Dagongmei and their relationship to fashion. Overall, this thesis demonstrates the signifying practices that the Dagongmei adopt within the dominant discourse of fashion in order to adapt it to their own interpretations of subjectivity, modernity, and self-development.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Shi, Chengcheng
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:February 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jiwani, Yasmin
ID Code:985161
Deposited By: Chengcheng Shi
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 16:37
Last Modified:17 Jun 2019 16:37
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