Gender, Kinship and the Family in China

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Gender, Kinship and the Family in China by Mind Map: Gender, Kinship and the Family in China

1. The Han Chinese

1.1. 92% of China's population are Han

1.2. formed during the reign of the Han Dynasty in 206 B.C.-200 A.D.

1.3. during the reign of the Han Dynasty, diversity in ecology, physicality, subcultures, and language was united

1.4. unity was achieved because of Confusian tradition and patrilineal kinship

1.5. Confucianism

1.5.1. founded by Kong Fuzi, or Confucius as known in the West, in 6th century B.C.

1.5.2. doctrine can be adopted by anyone, typically male- by choice and not birth

1.5.3. emphasizes filial piety, as a pattern of Heaven; requires children, both male and female, to respect both mothers and fathers equally

1.5.4. traditions are embedded with sexism

1.5.4.1. men should strive to become "junzi" (gentlemen), "ren" (compassion, benevolence), and observing "li" (propriety, ritual)

1.5.4.2. women were only encouraged to be a good wife and to be an encourager and help their husbands reach their spiritual goals

1.5.5. 5 relationships or "wun lu"

1.5.5.1. ruler/minister

1.5.5.2. father/son

1.5.5.3. elder brother/younger brother

1.5.5.4. husband/wife

1.5.5.5. friend/friend

1.6. Patrilineal Kinship

1.6.1. chinese practices ancestor worship

1.6.2. ancestry can be traced through patrilineal kinship (surnames)

1.6.3. record keeping is useful in economic and political concerns such as land ownership

1.6.4. marriages can create entire villages of one or two extende families; because of this, women are forced to leave their families to marry outside their villages

1.6.5. in the records, women are not named as individuals but as daughters, granddaughters, wives, etc

1.7. Surname

1.7.1. specific and very important in the male lineage; female kinship is more generalized

1.7.2. women can't marry someone who's surname descended from her grandfather but can marry someone who's descended fromt he brother of her mother for exampl

1.7.3. family surnames (which consist of a single chinese character) with same pronunciation can't intermarrybecause they are considered to be related; but if the pronunciation is different wven though the character is the same are not considered related therefore they can intermarry

1.8. Life Stages of the Han Chinese Women

1.8.1. women's place is inferior; 3 days after they're born, they're placed on the foot of the bed and given a shard to play with as a symbol of their inferiority and their fate for hard work and the need for diligence

1.8.2. their identity is tied to males their whole entire life- from their fathers to husbands to their son/s after the death of their husband

1.8.3. being a born a female can also equate to infanticide; if a baby girl is born to a poor family, they might think twice before "wasting" resources on another mouth to feed

1.8.4. their soul's destination is dependent on the ancestors that the husband worships/ed

1.8.5. marriage is an important day for a female Han in which she becomes the husband's property

1.8.6. after marriage, she is reponsible for caring for her husband and her mother-in-law

1.8.7. a woman can be expelled from her husband's family on grounds of not being able to bear children, neglect of her in-laws, among others

1.8.8. the only way a woman can secure her plac ein her husband's family is to bear him his first son

1.9. Wolf's Uterine Family

1.9.1. a mother-centered family unit that serves as a support system for those women who had to be uprooted from their family after marriage therefore cutted from their support system

1.9.2. consists of mothers and children who belonged to her husband's patrilineage

1.9.3. the women in this family can become a source of influence and security

1.9.4. the emotional attachment between mothers and their children strengthened this uterine family

1.9.5. it's not distinguised by patrilineage ancestry

1.9.6. short-lived but very important to the women

1.9.7. since women marry out, daughter's leave their natal homes and their uterine family; the sons that stay with their family can serve to protect his mother's interest

1.9.8. Stafford's "yang" (to raise) theory: children are cared and provided for by their parents and in return they are to provide and care for their parents in their old age

1.9.9. since the sons are the ones staying in their natal home, the mother and son relationship is the most important relationship in this family

1.9.10. the daughters-in-law can be seen as competition for attention and affection by mothers; these daughters-in-law are also going to start creating their own uterine family

1.9.11. according to Staford's "yang" theory, the daughters-in-law will not become competition but addition to the strength and number of the uterine family

1.10. Post 1949 Trends

1.10.1. the founding of the "People's Republic of China" in 1949 has affacted and changed the Han Chinese pattern of family connections

1.10.2. the Chinese Communist Party or CCP provided equality between men and women in 1950

1.10.3. the euqality lead to the abolishment of child bethrotal and concubinage; women were also given the right to divorce their husbands without being beaten and imprisoned,

1.10.4. GCP pressured the elimination of religious superstitious practices and rituals which got rid of family/ancestral shrines and temples in rural China

1.10.5. one-child policy was inacted in 1979 but was modified; if the couple's first child is handicapped, had died, a girl,and both couples are only children, then they are allowed a second child

1.10.6. the controlling of child births had caused a female infanticide and has affected the male-female ratio of the country- there are much more males than females

1.10.7. the one-child policy has also greatly affected the patriline; family networks are getting smaller

1.10.8. one-child policy has created some more issues

1.10.8.1. children are greatly burdened to care for their parents since they have no siblings to help carry the weight

1.10.8.2. children are growing up to be self-indulgent wince grandparents and parents attention are only on one child

2. The Dai

2.1. also known as the Tai-Lu are found in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in the southwestern province of Yunan, China

2.2. unlike the Han, they have a bilateral kinship, meaning both male and female lineage a reequally inportant and recognized

2.3. they don't have surnames; men's names start with Ai and women with Yi

2.4. after marriage, the man lives in his wife's natal home and serve the family for three years which then the couple can decide to build their own home in the woman's or man village.

2.5. divorce was observed and practiced before the 1950 Marriage Law; a woman can leave her husband and go back to her natal home and the children born during the marriage stays with the mother

2.6. the parents' name changes based on their eldest child; and once their children bear children, they are only known as "Botao" or old man or "Mietao (old woman)

3. The Lahu

3.1. Tibeto-Burman speaking group residing in the mountainous regions at the border of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and China

3.2. noted for their high degree of gender quality and unity

3.3. they have no preference in the gender of their children and the parents run the household together

3.4. like the Dai, their kinship is bilateral

3.5. both husband and wife share the workload in the fields and at home, also with the pregnancy and the rearing of the children

4. The Mosuo

4.1. matrilineal kinship

4.2. they have a practice called "walking marriage"

4.2.1. in a "walkng marriage", both man and woman live in their natal home; the man visits the woman each night and then return to his home in the morning.

4.2.2. both man and woman have a right tp refuse the advances of the opposite sex

4.2.3. the "marriage" serves the purpose of procreation and sexual gratification only; there's no husbands or fathers in the Mosuo society

4.3. children born of "walking marriages" are not considered illegitimate; they belong to their mothers' family

4.4. in this society, there's no farmalized mariage institution because of the rpactice of "walking marriage"