The Family Revolution in Modern China

The Family Revolution in Modern China

The Family Revolution in Modern China

The Family Revolution in Modern China

Excerpt

This study attempts a systematic analysis of the family structure of "traditional" and "transitional" China with special reference to the role played by industrialization in the changes which are taking place. The results of this study do not masquerade as definitive, for it has not been possible either to see or to verify from facts gathered by others all the phenomena analyzed here. The data at present permit nothing in the nature of definitive statements on either the "traditional" or the "transitional" period in China because adequate statistical data are not at hand, and alternative materials on a large enough scale to replace statistics have not yet appeared. This study should therefore be viewed as an attempt to set forth the best available set of hypotheses based on the facts and their interrelations. I believe that the study does offer a systematic analysis which may be verified or disproved, in whole or in part, as material of a more definitive nature becomes available. It should at least eliminate some floundering about in future work on the subject and point out strategic areas for investigation and means of integrating further findings. In a field so little explored as this it must be the hope of every worker as a scientist, whatever his hopes to the contrary as a man, that within a reasonably short period he will find his work radically amended, if not superseded entirely. This study is not presented as an end product but as a bare beginning.

The data for this study have been obtained from three sources. First, there are materials from various written works, both European and Chinese, which are cited in the orthodox fashion whenever they are used. Most of these writings, insofar as they are scientific analyses, lack definitive character.

The second source has been informants, from which the bulk of the material has come. The number and range of informants is by no means as great as one might wish, but the usefulness of the material obtained from this source is still considerable. This material, along with the closely . . .

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