Women in early imperial China / Bret Hinsch.

By: Hinsch, BretMaterial type: TextTextSeries: Asian voices (Rowman and Littlefield, Inc.): Publisher: Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, ©2002Description: xi, 237 pages : illustrations ; 24 cmContent type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 074251871X; 9780742518711; 0742518728; 9780742518728; 9780742568242; 0742568245Subject(s): Women -- China -- History | Women -- China -- Social conditions | China -- History -- Qin dynasty, 221-207 B.C | China -- History -- Han dynasty, 202 B.C.-220 A.D | Han Dynasty (China) | Qin Dynasty (China) | Women | Women -- Social conditions | China | Vrouwen | Frau | China | Frau | China | Geschichte 221 v. Chr.-220 | 221 B.C.-220 A.DGenre/Form: History.Additional physical formats: Online version:: Women in early imperial China.DDC classification: 305.4/0931 LOC classification: HQ1767 | .H55 2002Other classification: 15.75 | NW 8100
Introduction -- The context: early imperial China -- Kinship -- Wealth and work -- Law -- Government -- Learning -- Ritual -- Cosmology -- Conclusion.
Dissertation note: Ph. D. Harvard University 1993
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Originally published: Boston : Harvard University, 1994.

Ph. D. Harvard University 1993

Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-229) and index.

Introduction -- The context: early imperial China -- Kinship -- Wealth and work -- Law -- Government -- Learning -- Ritual -- Cosmology -- Conclusion.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


After two decades of nominally reformed Marxism, Chinese and Western scholars have built up a critical mass of scholarship that cries out for a new synthesis. Hinsch (National Chung Cheng Univ., Taiwan) cites and summarizes the main critiques of the Engelsian-Marxist thesis that women ruled pre-state cultures everywhere. He summarizes the historical background from the Zhou dynasty (11th century BCE) through the Qin and Han universal states (from third century BCE to early third century CE) as context for women's evolving status. Arguing that gender is not the sole determinant of a woman's status, Hinsch shows that even poor male farmers and their textile manufacturing wives were economically interdependent and often in love. Political or social status or wealth from market activity by a woman's father, husband, or son--particularly if he predeceased his female relative--might overcome her female "disabilities." Hinsch further categorizes explanations of women's status as either patrilineal or pragmatic. Confucians' patrilineal justifications had to often compromise pragmatically with an ancient world that still yielded some status and real, though limited, power to certain women. Hinsch's lucid framework and thorough bibliography make this the first place to send students writing term papers on Chinese women's history. All academic levels and collections. E. H. Kaplan emeritus, Western Washington University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Bret Hinsch is professor in the Department of History, Foguang University, Taiwan.

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