Separation and Reunion in Modern China

By Charles Stafford | Go to book overview

3
Greeting and sending-off the dead

My simplistic starting point– that separation and reunion are matters of great concern in China and Taiwan– has already been complicated in two significant ways. First, I suggested (in chapter one) that Chinese narratives of separation and reunion, however important and seemingly 'timeless', are in fact always embedded in history. This is clearly seen when state institutions explicitly intervene in their completion. I then went on to suggest (in chapter two) that the public elaboration of partings and returns in China is somewhat paradoxical: the most important relationships are often given the least attention in such matters. Following the argument put forward by Potter and Potter (1990), it might even be said that in certain relationships separation, which is often portrayed as if it were deeply problematic, is in fact highly desirable.

In this chapter, which focusses on examples of separations and reunions involving the dead,both of these complications will again come into play and their significance will thus be deepened. First (and to reverse my order), it will be seen that separation from the dead is often viewed as a good, or at least necessary, thing, and more generally that separations and reunions involving different kinds of spirits engender complex, and often highly ambivalent, responses. Second, it will be seen that history, and specifically political history, has a way of interfering with separations and reunions which involve the dead. What does it mean for the state to intervene in such processes? Given the history of religion in late imperial and modern China, this question is of considerable relevance, and especially in light of the argument– which I will put forward here– that families and communities are importantly constituted or 'produced' through ritualised moments of separation and reunion. Before considering these matters, however, I must first explain the background to them, starting with the nature of the spirits from whom the living are– at least part of the time– meant to be separated.

-70-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Separation and Reunion in Modern China
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Introduction: An Anthropology of Separation 1
  • 1 - Tow Festivals of Reunion 30
  • 2 - The Etiquette of Parting and Return 55
  • 3 - Greeting and Sending-Off the Dead 70
  • 4 - The Ambivalent Threshold 87
  • 5 - Commensality as Reunion 99
  • 6 - Women and the Obligation to Return 110
  • 7 - Developing a Sense of History 127
  • 8 - Classical Narratives of Separation and Reunion 144
  • 9 - The Politics of Separation and Reunion in China and Taiwan 156
  • Conclusion - The Separation Constraint 174
  • Notes 179
  • References 192
  • Index 200
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 202

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.