The Chinese family from the female perspective is not the same as the patrilineal unit, rather a domestic unit that centers on herself., Uterine families should not be necessarily be seen as being more egalitarian toward women, however, since they continued to depend heavily on the woman's son., In the Uterine family, the key relationships are between mother and her sons, a structure that makes the daughter in law a potential danger.
Lineage organization varied widely throughout China, and can range from several hundred members to over ten thousand., Membership in these lineages was reckoned through male linen and due to patrilocal marriage tendencies could create entire villages composed of one or two extended families., The traditional Han Chinese patrilocal residence pattern entailed women leaving their natal families to marry outside their own community.
Greater access to mainland China in the last 25 years is showing just how complex Chinese culture is., The Majority ethnic group is China is the Han at nearly 92% of the population, with the remaining 8% divided among 55 different minority groups., Monica Cable, explores the interrelationship between gender, kinship and the family in what scholars have frequently termed Chinese culture.
Han Chinese identity was formed during the Han Dynasty(206 BC-220 AD). Several factors unite this otherwise heterogeneous group, two of the most important ones being the Confucian tradition and patrilineal.
Confucianism is an open system, and people(namely men) may join through self cultivation, not by birth., Confucianism's emphasis on filal piety is not limited to the relationship between sons and fathers, but requires that children of both sexes honor their father and mother equally., Men according to Confucianism should strive to be 'junzi' (gentlemen), acting with ren (compassion) and observing li (propriety, ritual). Women are encouraged to be a good wife and mother, and to help the men in her life become 'Junzi'.
Kinship terms for the fathers side of the family are numerous and varied, and there are distinctive terms ( often differing in terms of relative age) for related males from the great-great-grandfather to the more distantly related third cousin., All holders of a given surname were believed to have descended from a common ancestor., Since decent was traced through the male line, marriage to a woman born into the group descended from the great-great grandfather was deemed appropriate.
Due to their subordinate position, women should defer to men throughout their lives: first to their fathers, then to their husbands, upon widowhood to their sons, Poor families may be particularly reluctant to "waste" precious resource on a member who would not be able to perform as much labor on behalf of the group and marry out, The most important life event for the Han woman is her marriage, A Han Chinese woman in effect became the property of her husbands patriline and served the purpose of providing the family with (male) heirs and serving her new mother in law., The relationship between the new bride and her mother in law was one fraught with discord and often tyranny on the part of the elder female, who at last had someone in her household of lower status other than herself., If marriages were difficult enough, divorce is something even more feared and another matter in which the Han Chinese woman's position was highly precarious., While it is almost impossible for a woman to initiate divorce, she could be expelled from her husbands family.
Kinship and Lineages were replaced by Communist Party Organizations., In 1982, the government began a vigorous campaign against the feudal ideas that caused families to prefer boys over girls and urged the media to publicize cases of female infanticide.
Divorce: A divorce could occur at either request of man or woman
Show no Preference of male or female child, Husband and wife expected to share workload
Both men and women reside in natal households, Society functions without husband or fathers