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Reinventing LicentiousnessPornography and Modern China$
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Y. Yvon Wang

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501752971

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501752971.001.0001

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Commodifying Licentiousness in a Time of Flux

Commodifying Licentiousness in a Time of Flux

The Material Dimensions of Global Modern Pornography

(p.61) Chapter 2 Commodifying Licentiousness in a Time of Flux
Reinventing Licentiousness

Y. Yvon Wang

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on material changes in print markets at the turn of the twentieth century that moved beyond the early modern challenge to yin. Between the end of the Qing Empire and the early Republican period, imported European erotic representations and domestically produced representations using state-of-the-art technologies appeared on the Chinese market. The chapter analyses how these transformations made desire itself a valid subject for open discourse and led to the globalized modern pornography. New mediums introduced new genres of sexual content. Books and images propagated the new ideas of sexual science, which was materially backed by broadening access to reliable contraception. The chapter details, however, these new genres did not displace — nor dispel the erotic charge — of older forms. Changes on the market for sexual representations were intertwined with and helped reinforce larger material and ideological developments of the era. The chapter also shows a complex market in flux, changes in the marketplace, and the ideas and representations that it made materially available. Ultimately, the chapter displays the changes in Beijing's markets for titillating media.

Keywords:   print markets, yin, erotic representations, Chinese market, desire, modern pornography, sexual representations, flux

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