Media Representations of Nüding in China (2005–2015)

Chao Lu, Ke Zhang, Jingyuan Zhang


In recent years, Chinese media witnessed an increasing She Power in a mosaic context with an impressive improvement in women labor participation and a resurgence of patriarchal traditions. Chinese women–themed investigations have been mostly restricted to sociological and psychological perspectives; however, the discursive representations of Chinese child-free women and the exploration of the ideological factors remain inadequate. To address the gap, this article examines news representations of nüding (child-free women), a gender-nonconforming group, by drawing on van Leeuwen’s social actor theory as one strand of critical discourse analysis. In so doing, we collected data from two state-owned newspapers, Global Times and China Daily, in China. Our data consist of 93 news reports on nüding-related phenomena. Research results reveal that nüding are dominantly represented as pressure-suffering women, self-centered women, and career-minded women. This article ends with a discussion of ideological contestations that emerge from such representations of nüding.



nüding, China, news representations, social actor, tradition, modernity

Full Text: