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Transforming Patriarchy: Chinese Families in the Twenty-First Century

Santos, Goncalo
Harrell, Stevan

978 0 295 99897 8
List price(s):
90.00 USD
74.00 GBP

Publication date:
22 November 2016

Full description: 

Each successive wave of revolution to hit modern China-political, cultural, and economic-has radically reshaped Chinese society. Whereas patriarchy defined the familial social structure for thousands of years, changing realities in the last hundred years have altered and even reversed long-held expectations. Transforming Patriarchy explores the private and public dimensions of these changes in present-day China. Patriarchy is not dead, but it is no longer the default arrangement for Chinese families: Daughters-in-law openly berate their fathers-in-law. Companies sell filial-piety insurance. Many couples live together before marriage, and in some parts of rural China, almost all brides are pregnant.Drawing on a multitude of sources and perspectives, this volume turns to the intimate territory of the family to challenge prevailing scholarly assumptions about gender and generational hierarchies in Chinese society. Case studies examine factors such as social class, geography, and globalization as they relate to patriarchal practice and resistance to it. The contributors bring the concept of patriarchy back to the heart of China studies while rethinking its significance in dominant Western-centric theories of modernity.

Table of contents: 

AcknowledgmentsNote on TranscriptionIntroduction / Stevan Harrell and Goncalo SantosPart One | Rural Reconfigurations 1. Dutiful Help: Masking Rural Women's Economic Contributions / Melissa J. Brown 0002. From Care Providers to Financial Burdens: The Changing Role of Sons and Reproductive Choice in Rural Northeast China / Lihong Shi3. Higher Education, Gender, and Elder Support in Rural Northwest China / Helena Obendiek4. Multiple Mothering and Labor Migration in Rural South China / Goncalo SantosPart Two | Class, Gender, and Patriarchy in Urban Society 5. Urbanization and the Transformation of Kinship Practice in Shandong / Andrew B. Kipnis6. Being the Right Woman for Mr. Right : Marriage and Household Politics in Present-Day Nanjing / Roberta Zavoretti7. Emergent Conjugal Love, Mutual Affection, and Female Marital Power / William Jankowiak and Xuan Li8. Under Pressure: Lesbian-Gay Contract Marriages and Their Patriarchal Bargains / Elisabeth L. Engebretsen 9. Patriarchal Investments: Expectations of Male Authority and Support in a Poor Beijing Neighborhood / Harriet EvansPart Three | New Technologies, New Institutions 10. Taking Patriarchy Out of Postpartum Recovery? / Suzanne Gottschang11. Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Sperm Donation, and Biological Kinship: A Recent Chinese Media Debate / Kerstin Klein 12. Recalibrating Filial Piety: Realigning the State, Family, and Market Interests in China / Hong Zhang GlossaryReferencesList of ContributorsIndex


Goncalo Santos is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Hong Kong. Stevan Harrell is professor of anthropology and environmental and forest sciences at the University of Washington. The contributors are Melissa J. Brown, Elisabeth L. Engebretsen, Harriet Evans, Suzanne Gottschang, William Jankowiak, Andrew B. Kipnis, Kerstin Klein, Xuan Li, Helena Obendiek, Lihong Shi, Roberta Zavoretti, and Hong Zhang.



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