Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Mass Communication and Media Arts
In the context of globalization, commercialization, and the increasing presence of Western and Japanese male images in Chinese society, this study is an attempt to examine how local and global force interact and how masculinities are constructed in men's magazines in Taiwan. Methodologically, this study sees in-depth interviews, content analysis, and semiotic analysis as complementary methods in the study of construction of masculinity in Taiwan. Results of the interviews showed that multiple types of masculinity exist in Taiwan and traditional Chinese masculinity has evolved and changed in the contemporary Taiwanese society. Based on the male images (N=1,284) from a stratified sample of four months in 2009 in four men's magazines, results of the study showed that editorials and male images in Western and hybrid men's magazines were also different from those in the local men's magazine. Close examination of individual advertisements form semiotic analysis showed that advertisers try to relate muscle building to Wu masculinity; athleticism, male bonding, feminine masculinity are promoted by advertisers; metrosexuality seems the ideal masculinity in Taiwanese society. In conclusion, the study suggested that (1) international men's magazines, either from the West or Japan, can be seen as culture hybrid to construct masculinity in their contents. Although international men's magazines are all hybrid, hybridity in men's magazines that are from countries that are geographically close are much influential than hybrid magazines from geographically far away; (2) the Chinese masculinity should not be labeled as feminine masculinity because it is ordinary manhood from the Chinese Wen tradition.
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