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Chinese gender and society notes from apr 18 - 22nd

by: Syed Haque

Chinese gender and society notes from apr 18 - 22nd SOC255

Marketplace > Binghamton University > General Science > SOC255 > Chinese gender and society notes from apr 18 22nd
Syed Haque
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About this Document

Notes on assigned readings
Gender & Chinese Society
Ana M. Candela
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Syed Haque on Sunday April 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC255 at Binghamton University taught by Ana M. Candela in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Gender & Chinese Society in General Science at Binghamton University.


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Date Created: 04/24/16
Apr 19 reading Reforms: The gender of development Naturalization of Gender: Marriage, family and divorces Personal voices, 137-242 Marriage In pre-liberation China, weddings were the occasion for as much festivity and extravagance as a family would afford. After the 1950 Marriage Law, however, the Chinese govt encouraged its citizens to simplify weddings. It aimed to minimize economic exchange involved, making marriages a union between equal individuals rather than complex economic and status transaction between families. The govt, aimed to make legal registration replace weddings as the primary marriage ceremony, thereby asserting a degree of state control over marriage that did not previously exist. Despite intense propaganda, extravagant weddings continued to prevail until the Cultural rev, when celebrations were toned down for fear of attracting criticism, as either feudal or bourgeois, depending upon who and where one was. The late 1970’s witnessed a revival of extravagant wedding celebrations, were primarily an expression of increased prosperity resulting from the post-Mao economic reforms. Weddings once again became an occasion for conspicuous consumption and display. Parents rarely remained uninvolved in their child’s wedding despite giving them freedom to marrywhoever they wanted. As consumerism became a more prominent part of life in the post Maro Era, wedding festivities were increasingly seen as an opportunity for families to display their wealth and status in community Basically it just did a loop The govt made pleas to make weddings simple, yet since the govg was gradually reducing its regulation of private life, the control it exerted over weddings was limited. Moreoever, weddings were so much a family affair that even young couples who responded to these pleas were often overruled by their parents. According to the CCP, marriage was strictly a civil bureaucratic procedure, requiring nothing more than a liscense from the marriage registration bureau. The local work units were in charge of the certificates needed to register. Marriage law help liberate women ? 1980s marriage law was designed to ensure that marriage was truly the free choice of the couple, and not an arrangement made by their families. The couple would be asked some questions to ensure there was no foul play. Living in cramped style was a norm. Scheming amongst sibling was a poisonous by product. Housing in the work units were primarily given to men over women since it was assumed the groom would acquire the space for family. It was not discrimination, but rather as allowing men to fulfill his responsibility to provide housing for his family. For many young couples preparing for the wedding was a long trying process. Marriage registration was only the first step. Only after they acquired material goods necessary to establish a household –sometimes a much as 4 or 5 years later- could they begin to plan a wedding celebration. Why turn it into such a lengthy process ? A lot of the wedding arrangements require personal connections, wonder how the trickledown effect of this was. The bride and bridegroom worn western style Chinese dresses, deviation from the feudal dresses, maybe as a symbol of end of women’s oppression. Horseplay during the wedding was directed at the bride more so than the bridegroom and sometimes horseplay made the bride the victim of newer forms of traditional customs. “ Women in particular were held responsible for the extravagance.” Why? Bc grooms are suppose to give presents not only to the bride but also to the mother in law. The mothers in law competed with one another for the most expensive presents from their sons in law and to young women competed with one another for the richest fiancé. Weddings were perhaps the only time in a woman’s life that she and her family were the beneficiaries of custom, and it is not surprising that they would exploit the occasion for all it was worth. This responsiblitiy attributed to women reflect popular belief that were the arbiters of consumption and guardians of the domestic sphere. Govt stories tried to persuade young couples to have a simple wedding and use the money for their needs rather than on a feast. Govt began putting restrictions on cars and restaurants for wedding use, shows govt reaching in and meddling Family Relations In post liberation era, the bride still had to forge relations with her husband’s family, she was no longer expected to break off ties with her natal family. Women also enjoyed the protection of a marriage law that guaranteed them the right to divorce. These dramatic changes obscured more subtle continuities. A woman was not just marrying her husband, she was marrying her whole family. She was considered a member of his family, Even if she and her husband lived in an apartment it was expected that she would establish congenial relations with his parents and siblings. As constructing a relationship with her husband and his family became more central to a woman’s life, she was likely to find herself increasingly excluded from her former circle of female friends. In contrast to the past, when a woman was expected to ensure domestic harmony by being subservient and obedient, she was not required to assume a much more active role as a skilled emotional manager. She had to acquire expertize in handling the practical, emotional, and sexual aspects of the relationship with her husband while also it was incumbent upon her to resolve conflicts which would inevitably rise with her mother in law. The conflict between mother and daughter in law sometimes had less to do with actual responsibilities than with competing over emotional loyalties. Husband would lose interest, columns of advice for women ?? why couldn’t it be the other way around Women faced social pressure and rumours if they didn’t have kids soon after they were married The press played a very pivotal role in guiding Chinese life.


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