The Marriage of Sung Imperial Clanswomen

John W. Chaffee

in Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 1991 | ISBN: 9780520069305
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520910454 | DOI:
The Marriage of Sung Imperial Clanswomen

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This chapter attempts to piece together a picture of clanswomen's marriages, and changes in them, during the Sung. In doing so, it addresses three related questions. First, what kinds of exchanges were involved in the women's marriages, and, more specifically, what were the purposes behind the government's clan marriage regulation? Second, whom did the clanswomen marry? Third, how did these marriages deal with issues of inequality in light of the innate tension between the subordinate role clanswomen were supposed to assume in their husbands' families on the one hand, and the superior connections, resources, and power that they brought into their marriages on the other?

Keywords: clanswomen; marriages; Sung dynasty; inequality; imperial clans

Chapter.  15623 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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