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Women and Marriage in China Essay

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This essay will explore two types of marriages in China, the uxorilocal and minor marriage. In a Uxorilocal marriage, the man moves into the women’s household. Usually, the women’s family does not have a son and economically, it is necessary for him to help support them. Uxorilocal marriages are very uncommon and do not happen very often. In a minor marriage, the in-laws will adopt their future daughter-in-law at a young age and then she will marry her “foster brother”. As a small daughter in law, the family of the future husband adopts the girl they would like their son to marry as a child. This puts the future mother-in-law at the advantage. She is able to shape her and control her to the type of girl she would like her son to marry. Often times this power by the mother in law was abused. She does not get the treatment that her birth family would give her and is at times treated as a slave. The girl would be neglected and given tremendous amounts of work to do for the family. On the other hand, this also helps the girl when she transitions into her adult life. Growing up in the same village that she will live in during her mature years, gives her the benefit of having a social network.
Being married under a patrilineal descent is very difficult for women, especially in the social respects. When she is first married her social connections are completely left at home. The village is very distrusting of the new wife at first because she is new and they do not know much about her. Once she is able to find her niche in the community, she is able to gain allies as well as elders she can use to gain knowledge and support from. As women age and their family grows and their position and strength evolves. She can gain prote...


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James L. Watson (1982). Chinese Kinship Reconsidered: Anthropological Perspectives On Historical Research. The China Quarterly, 92, pp 589-622. doi:10.1017/S0305741000000965.
Johnson, Kay Ann. Women, the family, and peasant revolution in China. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983. Print.
Lee, Liu. "China's Population Trends And Their Implications For Fertility Policy." Asian Population Studies 6.3 (2010): 289-305. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 April 2014.
Spradley, James P., and David W. McCurdy. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. Boston: Little, Brown, 1971. Print.
Zuo, Jiping. "Rethinking Family Patriarchy And Women's Positions In Presocialist China." Journal Of Marriage & Family 71.3 (2009): 542-557. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.



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