1st Edition

Marriage, Kinship and Power in Northern China

By Jennifer Holmgren Copyright 1995
    352 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume focuses on changing marriage practices and kinship structures in a setting of interaction between the ruling elites and their Chinese subjects. The collection covers three major themes: the unique adaptability of steppe society in the face of threats to its politcal dominance; the way shifts in inheritance procedure (including rights of office) induce a radical shift in attitudes to marriage as well as change in the parameters of kinship solidarity; and the enduring importance of affinal ties (connections through the mother, wife and sister) in Chinese society.

    Contents: The making of an elite: local politics and social relations in northeastern China during the 5th century AD; The economic foundations of virtue: widow-remarriage in early and modern China; Observations on marriage and inheritance practices in early Mongol and Yüan society, with particular reference to the Levirate; The harem in northern Wei politics, 398-498 AD; Marriage, kinship and succession under the Ch’i-tan rulers of the Liao dynasty; Family, marriage and political power in 6th-century China: a study of the Kao family of northern Ch’i, c. 520-550; Imperial Marriage in the native Chinese and non-Han state, Han to Ming; Index.


    Jennifer Holmgren

    'Holmgren’s essays offer us a fresh look, a new interpretative perspective on patterns of political action in the context of imperial Chinese history...these essays demand serious attention from all students of Chinese and North Asian history.' T’oung Pao, Vol. LXXXV