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Tracing ChinaA Forty-Year Ethnographic Journey$
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Helen F. Siu

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083732

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083732.001.0001

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Reconstituting Dowry and Brideprice in South China

Reconstituting Dowry and Brideprice in South China

Chapter:
(p.111) 7 Reconstituting Dowry and Brideprice in South China
Source:
Tracing China
Author(s):

Helen F. Siu

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888083732.003.0007

In sum, factors leading to different payments of brideprice and dowry are complex. They involve intergenerational dependencies within the family as well as the fortunes of individual family members in relation to turbulent transformations of an entire century. Three crucial political turning points—the war interlude, the Maoist era, and the post-Mao reforms—have continued to create different life chances for the residents of the town and the sands and have triggered divergent strategies. In analyzing the terms of marital transfer in Nanxi zhen and the sands, I hope to provide a historically grounded and meaning-focused account of the ways transformations of political economy intertwine with cultural, symbolic resources that people use to make sense of their lives.

Keywords:   Rural-urban divide, China, Hong Kong, Anthropology, Social changes, Political changes, Identity formation, History, Culture, modernity

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