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A Case Study on Real Person Slash Fans in China

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A Case Study on Real Person Slash Fans in China
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   Graduate School Course: SIMV07 Master of Science in Social Studies of Gender Term: Spring 2017 Major: Sociology Supervisor: Charalambos Demetriou Resistance and Compromise under Power Structures of Sexuality: A Case Study on Real Person Slash Fans in China Author: Yiran Wang   i Abstract RPS (Real Person Slash) refers to the fandom in which female fans form homoerotic fantasies based on two real men such as actors, politicians and historical figures. This paper tries to see this group of women under power structures of sexuality in China and how such structures influence their fan practices. Through online observations, group discussion and in-depth interviews with 16 fans in total, I argue that Chinese RPS fans’ practices could be understood in both resistance and compromise to the current power structures of sexuality in China. These fans on one hand show their resistance to the traditional gender norms by expressing desires and creating alternative masculinities; while on the other hand they compromise in a way in which they regulate their fantasies within a certain place to prevent themselves as well as the real persons involved in the RPS fandom being judged by the dominant social norms. This paper hopes to foreground an indigenous discussion on Chinese slash fan communities under the power structures of sexuality. Keywords:  RPS, real person slash, China, fandom, sexuality, power structures   ii Acknowledgements I gained a lot of support from many people through the process of doing this master thesis. Without them, this project would never be finished. First of all, I would like to show my gratitude to my supervisor Dr. Chares Demetriou for his kind supervision and suggestion through the whole process. Secondly, great appreciation goes to all my interviewees who trusted and shared their life stories with me. I want to show my thankfulness to all KG/GK fans who together created this lovely community. I also want to thank my colleagues and friends Qian Ding, Fredrik Eklund, Shangchanhui Feng, Wai Ling Mak, Ling Tang, Lucia Amaranta Thomposon, Salla Turunen, Lu Zhang and Zhiyin Zhang. Thank you for all the warm supporting and great suggestions to me. Finally, I want to thank my mum for her forever love and support.   iii Table of Contents 1.   Introduction .................................................................................................... 1   1.1.   Fujoshi  , Slash Fan and Real Person Slash ........................................... 1   1.2.   Aim and Research Question .................................................................. 2   1.3.   Structure of the Study ........................................................................... 4   2.   Literature Review and Theoretical Framework ......................................... 5   2.1.   Slash fiction and Chinese Slash Fans ................................................... 5  2.1.1. Slash fiction: Debates and Development ......................................... 5 2.1.2. The Chinese Slash Fans ................................................................... 8 2.2.   Power Structures of Sexuality and Space for Resistance ................. 11   2.3.   Internet and Feminism ........................................................................ 16   3.   Methodology ................................................................................................. 19   3.1.   Study Group ......................................................................................... 20   3.2.   Preparations and Encounters ............................................................. 21   3.3.   Data Collection and Processing .......................................................... 22   3.4.   Limitations ............................................................................................ 25   4.   Data Analysis ................................................................................................ 26   4.1.   Resistance .............................................................................................. 26  4.1.1. Pleasure, Desire and Power ............................................................ 26 4.1.2. Alternative Masculinities ............................................................... 37 4.1.3. Critical Reflections ........................................................................ 39 4.2.   Compromise .......................................................................................... 43  4.2.1. Respect ........................................................................................... 44 4.2.2. Protection ....................................................................................... 45 5.   Conclusion and Further Discussion ........................................................... 50   References ............................................................................................................. 53  
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