The introductory chapter clarifies key concepts, such as “new womanhood,” vernacular feminism, polyphonic and participatory public, and conservatisms. My main findings are, first of all, the Huang–Lu elopement afforded undereducated readers and consumers to appropriate the up-to-date theories and idioms such as feminism and freedom to make sense of an ever-changing modern world. Second, the “woman” was not monolithically conceptualized in early-twentieth-century China but was destabilized by a plethora of variables such as class and age. Third, unlike the scholarly assumption that the “new woman” was a mere construct of the literary and political discourses, I argue that non-elite women appropriated discourses on gender relations conjured up by elites to struggle for their autonomous subjectivity. Finally, the conservative turn in the 1930s resulted from a confluence of different types of conservatisms, journalistic, legal, and grassroots. Various threads of thoughts were woven into the tapestry of an anti-feminist, pro-family conservative campaign.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiliang He
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois State UniversityNormalUSA

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