Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Political, Social, and Cultural Reproduction via Civil Service Examinations in Late Imperial China

  • Benjamin A. Elman
Extract

Most previous scholarship about the civil service examination system in imperial China has emphasized the degree of social mobility such examinations permitted in a premodern society. In the same vein, historians have evaluated the examination process in late imperial China from the perspective of the modernization process in modern Europe and the United States. They have thereby successfully exposed the failure of the Confucian system to advance the specialization and training in science that are deemed essential for nation-states to progress beyond their premodern institutions and autocratic political traditions. In this article, I caution against such contemporary, ahistorical standards for political, cultural, and social formation. These a priori judgments are often expressed teleologically when tied to the “modernization narrative” that still pervades our historiography of Ming (1368–1644) and Ch'ing (1644–1911) dynasty China.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Araki, Toshikazu. 1969. Sōdai kakyo seido kinkyū. Kyoto: Dobosha Press.
Ayers, William. 1971. Chang Chih-tung and Educational Reform in China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Balazs, Etienne. 1964. Chinese Civilization and Bureaucracy, trans. Wright, H. M.. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Barr, Allan. 1986. “Pu Songling [P'u Sung-ling] and the Qing [Ch'ing] Examination System.” Late Imperial China 7, 1:87111.
Bol, Peter. 1989. “Chu Hsi's Redefinition of Literati Learning.” In de Bary, Wm. T. and Chaffee, John, eds., Neo-Confucian Education: The Formative Stage. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Bol, Peter. Forthcoming. “Review of John Chaffee, The Thorny Gates of Learning in Sung China.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies.
Boudon, Raymond. 1989. The Analysis of Ideology, trans. Slater, Malcolm. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1971. “Systems of Education and Systems of Thought.” In Young, Michael, ed., Knowledge and Control: New Directions for the Sociology of Education. London: Collier Macmillan.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. Nice, Richard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bourdieu, Pierre, and Passeron, Jean-Claude. 1977. Reproduction in Education, Society, and Culture, trans. Nice, Richard. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1979. The Inheritors. French Students and Their Relation to Culture, trans. Nice, Richard. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Carnoy, Martin. 1982. “Education, Economy, and the State.” In Apple, Michael, ed., Cultural and Economic Reproduction in Education. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Chaffee, John. 1985. The Thorny Gates of Learning in Sung China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chang, Chung-Li. 1955. The Chinese Gentry. Studies on Their Role in Nineteenth- Century Chinese Society. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Cohen, Myron. 1983. “Lineage Development and the Family in China.” 1983 draft.
Dardess, John. 1987. “The Management of Children and Youth in Upper-Class Households in Late Imperial China.”Paper presented at the summer 1987 meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association held at Occidental College,Pasadena, California.
de Bary, Wm. T. 1981. Neo-Confucian Orthodoxy and the Learning of the Mind-and-Heart. New York: Columbia University Press.
DeFrancis, John. 1985. The Chinese Language. Fact and Fantasy. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
des Rotours, Robert. 1932. Le traité des examens traduit de la nouvelle histoire des T'ang. Paris: Librairie Ernest Leroux.
Eberhard, wolfram. 1962. Social Mobility in Traditional China. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
Ebrey, Patricia. 1978. The Aristocratic Families of Early Imperial China: A Case Study of the Po-ling Ts'ui Family. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ebrey, Patricia, and Watson, James, eds. 1986. Kinship Organization in Late Imperial China, 1000–1940. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Elman, Benjamin. 1984. From Philosophy To Philology: Social and Intellectual Aspects of Change in Late Imperial China. Cambridge: Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies.
Elman, Benjamin. 1990. Classicism, Politics, and Kinship. The Ch'ang-chou School of New Text Confucianism in Late Imperial China. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Elman, Benjamin. Forthcoming. “Confucian Civil Service Examinations and Imperial Ideology During the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties.” In Education and Society in Late Imperial China, eds. Elman, Benjamin and Woodside, Alexander. Conference volume sponsored by ACLS, NEH, and Mellon Foundation.
Elvin, Mark. 1984. “Female Virtue and the State in China.” Past and Present 104:111152.
Esherick, Joseph, and Rankin, Mary, eds. 1990. Chinese Local Elites and Patterns of Dominance. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Fei, Hsiao-Tung. 1953. China's Gentry: Essays on Rural-Urban Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Franke, Wolfgang. 1960. The Reform and Abolition of the Traditional Chinese Examination System. Cambridge: Harvard East Asian Monograph.
Freedman, Maurice. 1970. Lineage Organization in Southeastern China. London: Athlone Press.
Freedman, Maurice. 1971. Chinese Lineage and Society: Fukien and Kwangtung. London: Athlone Press.
Goody, Jack, and Watt, Ian. 1968. “The Consequences of Literacy.” In Literacy in Traditional Societies, ed. Goody, . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Grafflin, Dennis. 1981. “The Great Families of Medieval South China.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 41:6574.
Grafton, Anthony, and Jardine, Lisa. 1986. From Humanism to the Humanities. Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Europe. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Handlin, joanna. 1975. “Lü K'un's New Audience: The Influence of Women's Literacy on Sixteenth-Century Thought.” Women in Chinese Society, eds. Wolf, Margary and Witke, Roxanne. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Hartwell, Robert. 1971. “Financial Expertise, Examinations, and the Formulation of Economic Policy in Northern Sung China.” Journal of Asian Studies 30, 2:281314.
Hartwell, Robert. 1982. “Demographic, Political, and Social Transformations of China, 750–1550.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 42, 2 (December): 365442.
Hexter, J. H. 1979. Reappraisals in History. New Views on History and Society in Early Modern Europe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Ho, Ping-Ti. 1954. “The Salt Merchants of Yang-chou.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 17:130168.
Ho, Ping-Ti. 1962. The Ladder of Success in Imperial China. New York: Columbia University Press.
Houn, Franklin. 1956. “The Civil Service Recruitment System of the Han Dynasty.” Tsing-hua hsueh-pao, New Series 1:138164.
Houston, R. A. 1988. Literacy in Early Modern Europe: Culture and Education, 1500–1800. New York: Longman.
Hsiao, Kung-Chuan. 1960. Rural China. Imperial Control in the Nineteenth Century. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Huang, Philip C. C. 1985. The Peasant Economy and Social Change in North China. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Hymes, Robert. 1987. Statesmen and Gentlemen: The Elite of Fu-chou, Chiang-hsi, in Northern and Southern Sung. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hymes, Robert. 1986. “Not Quite Gentlemen? Doctors in Sung and Yuan.” Chinese Science 7:1185.
Johnson, David. 1977. The Medieval Chinese Oligarchy. Boulder: Westview Press.
Johnson, David. 1985. “Communication, Class, and Consciousness in Late Imperial China.” In Popular Culture in Late Imperial China, eds. Johnson, David, Nathan, Andrew, and Rawski, Evelyn. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Kahn, Harold. 1971. Monarchy in the Emperor's Eyes: Image and Reality in the Ch'ien-lung Reign. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Keenan, Barry. 1974. “Educational Reform and Politics in Early Republican China.” Journal of Asian Studies 33, 2:226237.
Kessler, Lawrence. 1976. K'ang-hsi and the Consolidation of Ch'ing Rule. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kracke, E. A. 1947. “Family vs. Merit in Chinese Civil Service Examinations During the Empire.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 10:103123.
Kracke, E. A. 1968. Civil Service in Early Sung China. Cambridge: Harvard-Yenching Institute.
Ledderose, Lothar. 1972. “An Approach to Chinese Calligraphy.” National Palace Museum Bulletin 7, 1:114.
Ledderose, Lothar. 1979. Mi Fu and the Classical Tradition of Chinese Calligraphy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Lee, Thomas. 1982. “The Social Significance of the Quota System in Sung Civil Service Examinations.” Journal of the Institute of Chinese Studies (Chinese University of Hong Kong) 13:287318.
Lee, Thomas. 1985. Government, Education and Examinations in Sung China. Hong Kong: Chinese University.
Levenson, Joseph. 1957. “The Amateur Ideal in Ming and Early Ch'ing Society: Evidence from Painting.” In Chinese Thought and Institutions, ed. Fairbank, John. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Liang, Ch'i-Ch'Ao. 1959. Intellectual Trends in the Ch'ing Period, trans. Hsu, Immanuel. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Liu, James T. C. 1973. “How did a Neo-Confucian school become the state orthodoxy?Philosophy East and West 23, 4:483505.
Lo, Winston. 1987. An Introduction to the Civil Service of Sung China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Lockridge, Kenneth. 1974. Literacy in Colonial New England. An Enquiry into the Social Context of Literacy in the Early Modern West. New York: Norton and Co.
Hsun, Lu. 1972. “Kung [K'ung] I-chi.” In Selected Stories of Lu Hsun, trans. Hsien-yi, Yang and Yang, Gladys. Peking: Foreign Languages Press.
McClelland, Charles E. 1976. “The Aristocracy and University Reform in Eighteenth-Century Germany.” In Schooling and Society. Studies in the History of Education, ed. Stone, Lawrence. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
McKnight, Brian. 1989. “Mandarins As Legal Experts: Professional Learning in Sung China.” In Neo-Confucian Education: The Formative Stage, eds. de Bary, Wm. T. and Chaffee, John. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Meskill, John. 1982. Academies in Ming China. A Historical Essay. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Metzger, Thomas. 1973. The Internal Organization of Ch'ing Bureaucracy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Min, Tu-Ki. 1989. National Polity and Local Power: The Transformation of Late Imperial China. Cambridge: Harvard-Yenching Monograph.
Miyakawa, Hisayuki. 1954–55. “An Outline of the Naito Hypothesis and Its Effects on Japanese Studies of China.” Far Eastern Quarterly 14:533552.
Miyazaki, Ichisada. 1981. China's Examination Hell, trans. Schirokauer, Conrad. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Mizoguchi, yuzo. 1978. “Iwayuru Tōrinha jinshin no shisō” [The thought of the members of the so-called Tung-lin faction]. Tōyō bunka kinkyūjo kiyō, 75 (March): 111341.
Naquin, Susan, and Rawski, Evelyn. 1987. Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Needham, joseph. 1970. “China and the Origins of Qualifying Examinations in Medicine.” In Clerks and Craftsmen in China and the West, ed. Needham, Joseph. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nivison, David. 1960. “Protest Against Conventions and Conventions of Protest.” In The Confucian Persuasion, ed. Wright, Arthur. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Ōkubo, Elko. 1976. Min-Shin jidai shoin no kinkyū [Research on academies in the Ming-Ch'ing period]. Tokyo: Kokusho kankōkai.
Ono, Kazuko. 1980. “Tōrin tō kō (ichi)” [Study of the Tung-lin party, part 1], Tōhōgakuhō 52:563594.
Ono, Kazuko. 1983. “Tōrin tō kō (ni)” [Study of the Tung-lin party, part 2], Tōhōgakuhō 55:307315.
Oxnam, Robert. 1975. Ruling From Horseback. Manchu Politics in the Oboi Regency, 1661–1669. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Peterson, Willard. 1979. Bitter Gourd. Fang 1-chih and the Impetus for Intellectual Change. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Rawski, evelyn. 1979. Education and Popular Literacy in Ch'ing China. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Ropp, Paul. 1981. Dissent in Early Modern China. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Schwartz, Benjamin I. 1972. “The Limits of ‘Tradition Versus Modernity’ as Categories of Explanation: The Case of Chinese Intellectuals.” Daedalus (Spring): 7188.
Spence, jonathan. 1980. To Change China. Western Advisers in China, 1620–1960. Middlesex: Penguin Books.
Stone, lawrence. 1964. “The Educational Revolution in England, 1560–1640.” Past and Present 28:4180.
Stone, lawrence. 1969. “Literacy and Education in England 1640–1900.” Past and Present 42:69139.
Teng, Ssu-Yu. 1967. Chung-kuo k'ao-shih chih-tu shih [History of Chinese examination institutions]. Taipei: Student Bookstore.
Tu, Ching-I. 1974–75. “The Chinese Examination Essay: Some Literary Considerations.” Monumenta Serica 31:393406.
Twitchett, Denis. 1959. “The Fan Clan's Charitable Estate, 1050–1760.” In Confucianism in Action, eds. Nivison, David and Wright, Arthur. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Wakeman, Frederic Jr. 1972. “The Price of Autonomy: Intellectuals in Ming and Ch'ing Politics.” Daedalus 101, 2:3570.
Wakeman, Frederic Jr. 1975. The Fall of Imperial China. New York: Free Press.
Waley, Arthur. 1949. The Life and Times of Po Chü-i. London: Allen and Unwin.
Waltner, Ann. 1983. “Building on the Ladder of Success: The Ladder of Success in Imperial China and Recent Work on Social Mobility.” Ming Studies 17:3036.
Watson, James. 1982. “Chinese Kinship Reconsidered: Anthropological Perspectives on Historical Research.” China Quarterly 92:589622.
Watson, Rubie. 1985. Inequality Among Brothers: Class and Kinship in South China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weber, Max. 1954. The Religion of China, trans. Gerth, Hans. New York: Macmillan.
Weber, Max. 1958. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Parsons, Talcott. New York: Macmillan.
Wechsler, Howard. 1974. Mirror to the Son of Heaven. Wei Cheng at the Court of T'ang T'ai-tsung. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Wlens, Mi Chu. 1980. “Lord and Peasant. The Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century.” Modern China 6, 1:334.
Wolf, Margary. 1970. “Child Training and the Chinese Family.” In Family and Kinship in Chinese Society, ed. Freedman, Maurice. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Woodside, Alexander. 1983. “Some Mid-Qing [Ch'ing] Theorists of Popular Schools.” Modern China 9, 1:335.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9118
  • EISSN: 1752-0401
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-asian-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed