Crippled warriors: masculinities and martial arts media in Asia

White, Luke ORCID logoORCID: (2022) Crippled warriors: masculinities and martial arts media in Asia. In: Media in Asia: Global, Digital, Gendered and Mobile. Kim, Youna, ed. Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia . Routledge, London and New York, pp. 239-252. ISBN 9780367653224, pbk-ISBN 9780367672850. [Book Section] (Accepted/In press)


The kung fu craze of the 1970s was a transformative moment in the global representation of Chinese – and Asian – masculinities, redefining these in new, more affirmative ways. This essay explores the complex nature of the masculinities represented in it. To do so, it foregrounds the repeated motif – in cinema from Hong Kong but also across East Asia – of the disabled hero, which finds its echoes in a range of martial arts media texts today. These are placed in the contexts of the hegemony of Western, orientalist ideas of race and gender; the collision of these with the history of Chinese masculinities; and twentieth-century debates on the martial arts as a means of strengthening the nation and affirming its identity. Attending to both the specifics of Hong Kong / China and broader Asian experiences, the essay traces the evocation and use of these tropes in the 2018 Hindi film The Man Who Feels No Pain.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords (uncontrolled): hong kong cinema; martial arts; kung fu; masculinity; Asian popular culture; Asian cinema; Bruce Lee; Zatoichi; The Man Who Feels No Pain
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Diasporas
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Visual Culture and Curating cluster
A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
Item ID: 34807
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Luke White
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 14:33
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2022 10:33

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