SoFTA Lecture Series: Nationalism VS. Feminism: Gender Issue Debates on Zhihu



Nationalism VS. Feminism: Gender Issue Debates on Zhihu

Digital nationalism, manifesting itself as Internet activists’ radicalized expression of national identity, is on the rise in China. The lecture will address the intersection of digital nationalism and gender politics by determining the extent to which a nationalist distortion is present in the debates on gender issues between female and male Chinese Internet users.

The talk will discuss a case study of the most popular Chinese community question-answering (CQA) site – Zhihu. By employing a mixed-method research design, consisting of Content Analysis (CA) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), Zhihu users’ responses to two particular questions will be scrutinized, questions which prompted the recently intensifying public attention to feminism and gender inequality in China. The analysis will reveal how male Zhihu users boycott feminism by capitalizing on the patriarchal nature of nationalism. The outcome of this research sheds further light on the dynamic interplay between nationalism, feminism, and patriarchal values in contemporary China and beyond.


Dr Yuzhu Peng
Dr Yuzhu (Altman) Peng joined the JC-School of Film and TV Arts at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in August 2017. He received his PhD in Media & Cultural Studies (2017) from Newcastle University (UK), where he was awarded an MA in Media & Journalism (2013) with distinction, and achieved the status of Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2016). Yuzhu’s research interests lie at the intersection of feminism and media studies. He has published scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Chinese Journal of Communication and Social Identities. He is also a Social Media Specialist at Pickle Jar Communications (UK), where he has helped many internationally recognised institutions, such as Imperial College London (UK) and Bocconi University (Italy), to develop communication strategies to engage with a Chinese audience.