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Patriarchies, matriarchies and mate selection in 1930s Jiaozhou Bay 胶州湾 region
Topic Started: Jul 12 2017, 04:22:15 PM (27 Views)
black man
The Right Hand
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I'll refer to Martin Yang's description of the intrafamilial social ties of 20th century farmers in Daidou village in the Jiaozhou Bay region of Shandong province. Field work took place in the 1930s prior to the 1937 invasion according to Lary on p. 27 in "China's civil war".

limits of patriarchy
pp. 56-7, 62, 66: when a patriarch retreated from his work, he was no longer the major representative of his family whereever he was absent. So he could become passive despite of his formal rights. Relationships to the people in younger generations of his family were typically just formal, too. And his wife arranged the marriages of his children. According to Yang's description, different generations within the same family were even like different species in terms of sexuality: sexual relations between fathers-in-law and daughters-in-law are less acceptable than sexual relations between brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. Thus, husbands could end up more or less depending on the social ties forged by their wives.

potential matriarchies
pp. 57, 65, 67: when a mother-in-law had submissive daughters-in-law and could coordinate their work force, she could act like a matriarch. Preconditions might have been the presence of sons and the means to maintain patrilocality, i.e., to some extent pre-existing wealth. The possibility of matriarchy increased in case that the husband of a woman had retreated from work.

potential cycles of unhappy marriages
pp. 58-9: mothers could have relatively much influence on their sons. But this influence tended to wane after the latter had married. I.e., women who were already incompatible with their own husbands might have arranged a marriages with a women incompatible with her sons in order to avoid getting replaced by daughters-in-law.

Yang 1965: "A Chinese village"

key words: Jiaoliao Mandarin-speakers, Jiaozhou, matriarchy, mate selection, patriarchy, Shandong

Since Yang indicates on p. 42 that footbinding had been the norm in Daidou village prior to the 1930s, his statements can be reconsidered in the context of the findings of contemporary researchers like Hill Gates: apparently, Daidou was one of those locations at which women could have strived to increase their social status by influencing mate selection in favour of submissive daughters-in-law whose feet were bound. Therefore, people should definitely discuss the potential extent to which this could have influenced both female AND male (physiological and mental) phenotypes.
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