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Women, Property, and Confucian Reaction in Sung and Yüan China (960–1368)

£31.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in Chinese History, Literature and Institutions

  • Date Published: January 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521180726

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About the Authors
  • This book, originally published in 2002, argues that the Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century precipitated a transformation of marriage and property law in China that deprived women of their property rights and reduced their legal and economic autonomy. It describes how after a period during which women's property rights were steadily improving, and laws and practices affecting marriage and property were moving away from Confucian ideals, the Mongol occupation created a new constellation of property and gender relations that persisted to the end of the imperial era. It shows how the Mongol-Yüan rule in China ironically created the conditions for radical changes in the law, which for the first time brought it into line with the goals of Learning the Way Confucians and which curtailed women's financial and personal autonomy. The book evaluates the Mongol invasion and its influence on Chinese law and society.

    • Provides an evaluation of the Mongol invasion and its influence on Chinese law and society
    • Provides insight into the inter-relationship between gender and the historical process and on changes in the status of women in traditional China
    • Is thoroughly documented, both in original source materials and secondary scholarship
    • Translations are lucid and scrupulously annotated
    • The book uses difficult to read Sino-Mongolian legal texts that are not easily accessible to historians and have not been thoroughly used in the past
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Bettine Birge has written an important and provocative book of interest to all students of Chinese history … a sharply and densely argued account … she presents readings and views that will, I am sure, remain central to much future scholarly discussion of Chinese women's rights and Sung social history.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521180726
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Women and property before the Sung: evolution and continuity
    2. Women and property in the Sung: legal innovation in changing times
    3. Women's property and Confucian reaction in the Sung
    4. The transformation of marriage and property law in the Yuan
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Bettine Birge, University of Southern California

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