2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Matthew Haugen

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Mobility, Masculinity, and the Transnational Reforms to Chinese Tennis
Mobility, Masculinity, and the Transnational Reforms to Chinese Tennis
As with other Chinese industries, the field of sports has developed by incorporating transnational forces into “Socialism with Chinese characteristics.” As neoliberal ideologies collide with the party state, China’s athletes are required to become new subjects, alter forms of citizenship, and reorganize their social behaviors. Specifically, contemporary Chinese tennis has undergone wide-scale institutional change, to manage the internationalization of tennis in China. The rapid internationalization of Chinese tennis is opening new modes of body production and human capital, while it muddles preexisting domestic routes to social and geographic mobility._x000D_
Furthermore, conflict with traditional notions of masculinity has ensued as male athletes shun the conventional idea of using academics or wen文 (cultural attainment) to climb the social hierarchy, and instead choose to affiliate themselves with sport, wu武 (martial valor), which requires them to produce winning results through their physical bodies to obtain upward mobility._x000D_
The stories of five elite Chinese male tennis players who navigated changes to the state-run sports system, and the personal experiences of the author, a former head men’s and women’s coach of a provincial program, highlight the new masculinities and mobilities that are emerging as China engages with the global tennis industry.