Doing feminism through Chinese online fiction fandom
Keywords:Counterpublic, Digital feminism, Intimate public, Women-oriented online fiction
To explore the connections between Chinese online fiction fandom and feminism, in-depth interviews were conducted with thirty-two Chinese women and nonbinary fans of online fiction. Online fiction fandom is both a counterpublic and an intimate public in which women and nonbinary fans are connected by a common interest, their feminist identities are formed through or emerge through participation in such a public, and their shared values and understanding of feminism create a closer sense of belonging and affective solidarity. Engaging with feminism through online fiction is a form of digital feminism, creating feminist consciousness among online fiction fans through literary and discursive constructs. Women-oriented online fiction has become a space for many young Chinese women and nonbinary people to criticize and challenge patriarchal gender norms and reflect on mainstream gender relations. This space continues to produce educational cultural resources that make feminist learning and practice a work in progress.
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