Chinese Visions of Family and State, 1915-1953
Publication Year: 2003
Glosser effectively argues that the replacement of the authoritarian, patriarchal, extended family structure with an egalitarian, conjugal family was a way for the nation to preserve crucial elements of its traditional culture. Her comprehensive research shows that in the end, family reform paved the way for the Chinese Communist Party to establish a deeply intrusive state that undermined the legitimacy of individual rights.
Published by: University of California Press
Title Page, Copyright
List of Tables and Figures
Whether we credit it to globalism or cosmopolitanism, the need to reach out of the archives of a single nation and to explore themes that are shared across cultural boundaries has invigorated much recent scholarship. Marxist historians led the way. Perhaps this was because Marxist theory offered a structure for explaining the historical relation of worker to capitalist ...
Writing these acknowledgments has been an edifying experience. Until now I have not had to face up to the fact that over the past decade and a half I have importuned and inconvenienced dozens of people who have generously agreed to help me in all kinds of ways. ...
Introduction: Evolve or Perish
Confronted with foreign aggression and internal chaos, in 1915 China’s young urban intellectuals launched a vociferous attack on traditional Chinese culture. Their radical reevaluation of China’s political and cultural institutions, a reevaluation later known as the New Culture Movement, lasted eight years and addressed almost every aspect of Chinese society. ...
1. Saving Self and Nation: The New Culture Movement’s Family-Reform Discourse
Historians of the New Culture Movement have typically focused on either the movement’s nationalism or its romantic individualism and portrayed participants’ interest in family reform as an outgrowth of one of these two elements. Chow Tse-tsung remarks that young radicals believed that “to have all individuals liberated from the old passive thinking ...
2. Making the National Family: The Statist Xiao Jiating
When the Nationalists came to power in 1927, they exploited the state-building possibilities of xiao jiating discourse by stressing nationalism and patriotic duty. Their version of family reform and its relation to the state differed in emphasis and direction from its New Culture predecessor. ...
3. Marketing the Family: You Huaigao and the Entrepreneurial Xiao Jiating
As early as 1920, Shanghai’s education and business circles joined forces to address the question of marriage and family. Commercial presses published an ever-increasing number of books and pamphlets on love and marriage. Newspapers began to add supplemental sections on home and family. ...
4. Love for Revolution: Xiao Jiating in the People’s Republic
Throughout this book I have examined the participants in the family-reform debate during the period in which they were best able to disseminate their visions of the ideal family. It is for this reason that I concentrate here on Chinese Communist Party marriage policies after the CCP came to power in 1949. ...
Conclusion: The Malleability of the Xiao Jiating Ideal
Family reformers believed that the xiao jiating was essential to China’s salvation. But just what did xiao jiating mean? The New Culture radicals, the Nationalists, entrepreneurs, and the Communists all agreed on several fundamental and necessary criteria that distinguished the xiao jiating from the joint family, or da jiazu. ...