Women and Gender in Contemporary Chinese Societies

Women and Gender in Contemporary Chinese Societies : Beyond Han Patriarchy

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This book complements previous scholarship on Chinese women and gender by expanding our investigative lens beyond Han patriarchy and providing images of the multi-ethnic landscape of China. By identifying the Han as an ethnically marked category and by bringing to the forefront the diverse gender systems of ethnic minorities, this book encourages an increasing awareness of, and sensitivity to the cross-cultural diversity of gendered China both in academia and beyond.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 252 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 498.95g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739145800
  • 9780739145807

About Shanshan Du

Shanshan Du is associate professor of anthropology at Tulane University. She authored Chopsticks Only Work in Pairs: Gender Unity and Gender Equality among the Lahu of Southwest China (Columbia University Press) and co-edited "Negotiating Women's Roles and Power: The Practice of World Religions in Contemporary Asia" (a special issue of Religion). She is a recipient of fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the Mellon Foundation/ACLS. Ya-chen Chen is assistant professor of foreign literature and Director of Chinese Language Program at Clark University, and formerly affiliated with the City University of New York (with the same titles and Asian Studies Director), in both of which this book was prepared. Her academic books include Farewell My Concubine: Same-Sex Readings and Cross-Cultural Dialogues (2004); Women in Taiwan: Sociocultural Perspectives (2009); Higher Education in East Asia: Neoliberalism and the Professoriate (2009); and The Many Dimensions of Chinese Feminism (2011).show more

Review quote

This book covers a wide array of topics concerning developments of gender relations, ethnicity, and religious and family life in the reform era (post 1979). With 5 of 11 chapters devoted to national minorities living in southwestern China, this book underscores the recent orientation among anthropologists and historians to 'ethnicize' the concepts of 'Chinese' and 'Chinese women.' Case studies and interviews provide insights into the complex mechanics of the ongoing negotiation and reinvention of gender-related beliefs, practices, and expressions of national minorities and the Han majority. Summing Up: Recommended. CHOICE This coherent and well-organized collection of essays makes important contributions to the study of gender in contemporary Chinese societies. Rich in ethnographic details as well as new theoretical insights, these essays highlight the ethnic and cultural diversity that exists within China. This book will be very valuable for everyone interested in gender studies, China studies, or studies of ethnicity. -- Vanessa L. Fong, Harvard University A fresh collection spanning nearly a century and bringing the field of Chinese gender studies firmly into the diverse, marketized world of the post-socialist epoch, this multidisciplinary set of case studies is richly ethnographic, analytically imaginative and scrupulously mindful of the many traditions that still inflect gender ideology and practice among ethnic minorities and Han alike. -- Louisa Schein, anthropology and women's and gender studies, Rutgers University Women and Gender in Contemporary Chinese Societies is an important book, because it will help us give up our stereotypes about Chinese family and gender. Local case-study chapters remind us forcefully that there has never been a monolithic 'Chinese family,' but rather great diversity both among the minorities and among the majority Han Chinese. Even more importantly, reports based on recent ethnographic fieldwork show us that there is a family and gender revolution going on- power relations between men and women, between seniors and juniors are changing rapidly, fertility has declined sharply, families are focused on the young. And case studies from recent history and literature demonstrate how these changes are reflected in cultural expressions. Reading the studies in this book both broadens our understanding and brings our ideas of gender and family in China up to date. -- Stevan Harrell, University of Washingtonshow more

Table of contents

Preface by Rubie S. Watson Introduction: Toward Multiethnic Approaches to Women and Gender in Chinese Societies, Shanshan Du Part 1: Competing Traditions Chapter 1: The Cultural Logic that Identifies "Two" as "One": Male-Female Dyad and Gender Equality among the Lahu of Southwest China, Shanshan Du Chapter 2: Negotiating Local Tradition with Taoism: Female Ritual Specialists in the Zhuang Religion, James Wilkerson Chapter 3: Divine Compromises: The Mother of Grain and Gautama Buddha in De'ang Religion, Shanshan Du Part 2: Current Transformations Chapter 4: "The Wife Is the Boss": Sex-Ratio Imbalance and Young Women's Empowerment in Marriage in Rural Northeast China, Lihong Shi Chapter 5: The Han Chinese Family: The Realignment of Parenting Ideals, Sentiments, and Practices, William Jankowiak Chapter 6: Butt-Bumping Wedding Performance: Han Chinese Fetishism of Dai Marriage, Monica Cable Chapter 7: As Mothers and Wives: Women in Patrilineal Nuosu (Yi) Society, Shao-hua Liu Part 3: Resistance from Within Chapter 8: The Nude Parade of 1927: Nudity and Women's Liberation During the Republican Era, Chia-lin Pao Tao Chapter 9: Resistance through Transformation? The Meanings of Gender Reversals in a Taiwanese Buddhist Monastery, Hillary Crane Chapter 10: "Chinese Cinematic Martial Arts Feminism" and Its Incompletion: Case Studies of A Touch of Zen, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and The Banquet, Ya-Chen Chen Chapter 11: Art as Life/Life as Art: The Fiction and Feminist Paradigm of Li Ang, Murray A. Rubinstein Index About the Contributorsshow more

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