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Kornfield, Sarah: "Cross-cultural Cross-dressing. Japanese Graphic Novels Perform Gender in U.S." In: Critical Studies in Media Communication 28.3 (2011), S. 213–229. 
Resource type: Journal Article
Languages: englisch
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/15295036.2011.553725
BibTeX citation key: Kornfield2011
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Categories: General
Keywords: Gender, Japan, Manga, USA
Creators: Kornfield
Collection: Critical Studies in Media Communication
Cross-dressing, a comedic staple in Western entertainment, usually transgresses and then reasserts gender norms, offering audiences an escapist fantasy that resolves into a happy affirmation of current social norms. However, a newly popular genre of girls’ comics features cross-dressing protagonists who push the boundaries of traditional cross-dressing comedy. Moving beyond short-lived cross-dressing escapades, these new protagonists occupy the pages of Japanese graphic novels known as Gender Benders and conscientiously negotiate gender identities and norms—literally bending gender as a category. This genre is marketed exclusively to girls and young women who have formed fan subcultures. Exploring these narratives and their representations of gender, cross-dressing, and sexuality, I analyze this Gender Bender genre and its cultural histories and influences, arguing that cultural entertainment hybridity, while risking cultural fetishism, can positively influence gender conceptualizations by revealing gender as a performance.
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