The essay introduces Li Xiaojiang and her early works from the 1980s and 1990s in three steps. First, it closely situates Li and her works in both the general historical context of China’s transformation from the socialist to the postsocialist era and the most relevant intellectual discourses and cultural movements of the 1980s. Second, it articulates the historical specificity and contingent meanings of Li’s major concept of sexual and gender differences. And lastly, it explores the theoretical and political innovation and limitation of Li’s postsocialist feminist discourse.

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