New PDF release: Chinese Visions of Family and State, 1915-1953

By Susan L. Glosser

ISBN-10: 0520227298

ISBN-13: 9780520227293

ISBN-10: 0585467811

ISBN-13: 9780585467818

On the sunrise of the 20th century, China's sovereignty used to be fragile at most sensible. within the face of overseas strain and family upheaval, younger city radicals--desperate for reforms that might shop their nation--clamored for switch, championing Western-inspired relations reform and selling unfastened marriage selection and monetary and emotional independence. yet what got here to be referred to as the recent tradition circulation had the unwitting influence of fostering totalitarianism. during this wide-reaching, engrossing e-book, Susan Glosser examines how the hyperlink among kinfolk order and nationwide salvation affected state-building and explores its lasting results. Glosser successfully argues that the substitute of the authoritarian, patriarchal, constitution with an egalitarian, conjugal relatives was once a fashion for the country to maintain an important components of its conventional tradition. Her complete learn exhibits that during the top, kinfolk reform cleared the path for the chinese language Communist get together to set up a deeply intrusive kingdom that undermined the legitimacy of person rights.

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Extra info for Chinese Visions of Family and State, 1915-1953

Sample text

The issue of personhood had engaged New Culture radicals from the beginning; they proffered the individual as a challenge to a society that subordinated the interests of the individual to the group. Yi’s readers would surely have understood his use of “creative instincts” and a “natural inclination to improve” to refer to Social Darwinist interpretations of individual and social evolution. 16 At the same time, it also expressed the frustration that gripped many participants as they struggled to disentangle themselves from the web of the family.

Family, or home,41 albeit with a somewhat different definition than the Western one, was a concept deeply embedded in Chinese culture and inextricably bound into Chinese notions of state and society. Traditional precedents created a context in which new ideas about family could be integrated into the changing identities of China and its new citizens. A direct relation between discourse and behavior may not exist. Nevertheless, discourse provides insights into both values and behavior. Prescribed norms tell us how particular groups would like to order their world and why.

As happened in so much of Republican reform discourse, these men entered the contest for family and nation with the best of intentions, but they armed themselves with a logic and rhetoric that ultimately failed them and those they wanted to help. why discourse? Many historians have recognized the importance of “women’s liberation” and family reform in nineteenth- and twentieth-century China. A number of scholars have also explored the complex relationship between so- Glosser, Chinese Visions 9/11/02 1:15 PM Page 13 Introduction 13 cialism and women’s rights and family reform, most notably Elizabeth Croll, Judith Stacey, Kay Ann Johnson, and Margery Wolf.

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Chinese Visions of Family and State, 1915-1953 by Susan L. Glosser


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