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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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Where Were the Women?

Where Were the Women?

Rethinking Marriage Resistance and Regional Culture in South China

Chapter:
(p.221) 11 Where Were the Women?
Source:
Tracing China
Author(s):

Helen F. Siu

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888083732.003.0011

I suggest that the marriage strategies have been sustained and at the same time changed by different groups in various economic and political circumstances through the centuries: the “literati” lineages in their acts of territorial expansion and cultural exclusion in the late imperial period, those women labor workers who used their economic independence in the turn of the century to resist marriage, and contemporary residents of Xiaolan who aspire to join the urban working class and who eagerly distance themselves from peasant neighbors. Each of these territorially based groups has given the local marriage custom a self-interested reading. Together, they have perpetuated the cultural assumptions and the historical legacies of an emerging larger polity to which they have attached themselves.

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

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