Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines critiques of concubinage in the early Chinese Republic and their fruition in the anticoncubinage movement of the 1920s and 1930s. In contrast to Japan, concubines remained a public preoccupation long after China's legal embrace of monogamy. After examining the question of concubinage in missionary and Chinese Christian endeavors and egalitarian reconceptualizations of society, the article turns to concubine abolition movements. The class prejudices of female activists fractured their conceptualization of the modern category of "woman" and created exclusionary ideas of female personhood. These fractures suggest the enduring imprint of the hierarchic principles of polygyny on ostensibly egalitarian formations of identity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 85-110
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-29
Open Access
No
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