Leftover Men and Masculine Grievance: Making Sense of Rural Migrant Men’s Emotional Hardships

Publication Type:
Journal Article
NAN NÜ, 2021, 23, (1), pp. 137-162
Issue Date:
Filename Description Size
15685268_023_01_s005_text.pdfPublished version654.43 kB
Adobe PDF
Full metadata record
Abstract The social problem of “leftover men” among the most marginalized members of China’s rural migrant population has become widely known, but how these rural migrants themselves talk about and make sense of their failures to secure a marriage partner is relatively less understood. Answering this question may also shed light on how socioeconomic marginalization makes an impact on rural migrant men’s masculine identity. This paper is a longitudinal study of a cohort of unmarried rural migrant men born in the 1980s. This study shows that the emotional experience of cohort members is marked by a mixture of persistent feelings of loneliness, bitterness, and dissatisfaction with the status quo of their lives, and a quiet yearning for the possibility – however remote – of “finding someone” in the future. The paper also points to “masculine grievance” as a useful concept for understanding how unmarried migrant men rationalize their emotional hardships.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: