Chinese Women through Chinese Eyes

By Li Yu-Ning | Go to book overview

ment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, a new phase in the history of Chinese women was to begin. It was to be a period in which change intensified and accelerated, but in which both diversity and continuity remained relevant themes. The subject is far too complex to broach here, or to attempt to represent with one or two brief autobiographical sketches. 8 It is hoped that the articles and autobiographies in this book will aid in providing the background for a better understanding of women in contemporary China.


Notes
1
Professor Jonathan Lipman is translating one of the better known of these works, Ch'en Tung-yuan's Chung-kuo fu-nü sheng-huo shih (A history of the lives of Chinese women), first published in 1937.
2
For a more recent estimate of female literacy rates, see Evelyn Sakakida Rawski , Education and Popular Literacy in Ch'ing China ( Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1979), pp. 6-8, 140.
3
The lives of several seventeenth-century rural village women are skillfully reconstructed in Jonathan D. Spence, The Death of Woman Wang ( New York: Viking, 1978). For the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries we are blessed with Ida Pruitt's classic Daughter of Han: The Autobiography of a Chinese Working Women (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1945; reprint, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1967).
4
On premodern Chinese autobiography, see the incisive studies of Pei-yi Wu , "Self-Examination and Confession of Sins in Traditional China", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 39, 1 ( June 1979): 5-38; and The Confucian's Progress: Autobiographical Writings in Traditional China ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).
5
On footbinding, see Howard S. Levy, Chinese Footbinding: The History of a Curious Erotic Custom ( New York: Bell Publishing, 1967).
6
Chow Tse-tsung, Research Guide to the May Fourth Movement ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963), p. 1.
7
On women's support networks, see Margery Wolf, Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan ( Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1972).
8
The interested reader might start with the biography of Gold Flower in chapter 10 of Jack Belden, China Shakes the World ( New York: Harper, 1949).

-xxx-

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