Read e-book online Polyandry and Wife-Selling in Qing Dynasty China: Survival PDF

By Matthew H. Sommer

ISBN-10: 0520287037

ISBN-13: 9780520287037

This ebook is a examine of polyandry, wife-selling, and a number of comparable practices in China in the course of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912). by means of studying over 1200 felony circumstances from neighborhood and relevant courtroom files, Matthew Sommer explores the capabilities performed through marriage, intercourse, and replica within the survival ideas of the agricultural negative below stipulations of overpopulation, worsening intercourse ratios, and shrinking farm sizes. Polyandry and wife-selling represented contrary ends of a spectrum of innovations. At one finish, polyandry used to be a method to maintain the relations jointly via increasing it. a girl could usher in a moment husband in alternate for his support helping her family members. against this, spouse sale was once a way to outlive via breaking apart a family members: a husband may safe an emergency infusion of money whereas his spouse might get away poverty and safe a clean commence with one other man.

Even notwithstanding Qing legislation prohibited either practices lower than the rubric "illicit sexual relations," Sommer indicates how magistrates charged with propagating and implementing a fundamentalist Confucian imaginative and prescient of woman chastity attempted to deal with their social fact within the face of daunting poverty. This contradiction illuminates either the pragmatism of regimen adjudication and the more and more dysfunctional nature of the dynastic country within the face of mounting social quandary. by way of casting a focus at the rural terrible and the studies of either women and men, Sommer offers an alternative choice to the traditional paradigms of women’s historical past that experience lengthy ruled scholarship on gender and sexuality in overdue imperial China.

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Polyandry and Wife-Selling in Qing Dynasty China: Survival Strategies and Judicial Interventions by Matthew H. Sommer


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