Making National Heroes

The Exemplarist Production of Masculinities in Contemporary China


Jacqueline Zhenru Lin

ISBN : 978-988-8842-75-9

Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology Transnational Asian Masculinities 跨國亞洲男性氣質叢書

January 2024

192 pages, 6″ x 9″, 7 b&w illus.

  • HK$450.00

Making National Heroes is an ethnography of the making of national heroes in the commemoration of the Second World War in contemporary China. Foregrounding the lived experience of men and women who participate in commemorative activities, it theorises how masculinity and nationalism entangle in recollecting war memories. Taking the feminist line of inquiry, this anthropological study develops an approach to capture the centrality of making exemplars in the realisation of hegemonic masculinities. It adds a gender perspective to studies on exemplarist moral theory and theorises exemplary men’s cross-cultural significance in defining masculinities. Researchers in the fields of critical masculinity studies, anthropology, feminist methodology, China studies, and memory studies will be interested in this book. 

Jacqueline Zhenru Lin is a research assistant professor in the Centre for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include the use of digital technology in Chinese NGOs, charity and volunteering in contemporary China, war memories, and local histories.

“I highly recommend this book about the grassroots redress movement that seeks to make national heroes of the largely forgotten KMT soldiers from pre-1949 times. By way of exploring this intriguing topic, Jacqueline Zhenru Lin gives a fascinating account of how nationalism and gender interact to produce exemplary masculinities in present-day China.”—Kam Louie, University of Hong Kong

“Firmly grounded in anthropology, but with historical and digital analyses woven throughout, the author eloquently opens new avenues for reflection in Chinese masculinities research. This important contribution draws new attention to links between masculinity, nation, and memory in a media-saturated world.”—Jamie Coates, University of Sheffield