Women and the Family in Chinese History: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Women and the Family in Chinese History

1st Edition

By Patricia Ebrey


304 pages

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Paperback: 9780415288231
pub: 2002-08-29
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This is a collection of essays by one of the leading scholars of Chinese history, Patricia Buckley. In the essays she has selected for this fascinating volume, Professor Ebrey explores features of the Chinese family, gender and kinship systems as practices and ideas intimately connected to history and therefore subject to change over time. The essays cover topics ranging from dowries and the sale of women into forced concubinary, to the excesses of the imperial harem, excruciating pain of footbinding, and Confucian ideas of womanly virtue.

Patricia Ebrey places these sociological analyses of women within the family in an historical context, analysing the development of the wider kinship system. Her work provides an overview of the early modern period, with a specific focus on the Song period (920-1276), a time of marked social and cultural change, and considered to be the beginning of the modern period in Chinese history.

With its wide-ranging examination of issues relating to women and the family, this book will be essential reading to scholars of Chinese history and gender studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Women, Money, and Class: Sima Guang and neo-Confucian views on women 2. Concubines in Song China 3. Shifts in Marriage Finance: The sixth through thirteenth centuries 4. The Women in Liu Kezhuang's Family 5. The Early Stages of the Development of Descent Group Organization 6. Cremation in Song China 7. Surnames and Han Chinese Identity 8. Rethinking the Imperial Harem: Why were there so many women? 9. Gender and Sinology: Shifts in Western interpretations of footbinding, 1300-1890

About the Author

Professor Buckley Ebrey is Professor of History and Chinese Studies at the University of Washington. She has published widely on Chinese history.

About the Series

Asia's Transformations/Critical Asian Scholarship

This series is intended to showcase the most important individual contributions to scholarship in Asian Studies. Each of the volumes presents a leading Asian scholar addressing themes that are central to his or her most significant and lasting contribution to Asian Studies. The series is committed to the rich variety of research and writing in Asia, and is not restricted to any particular discipline, theoretical approach or geographical expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / China
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies