. National Modernity

Gail Hershatter

in Women in China's Long Twentieth Century

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780520098565
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916128 | DOI:
. National Modernity

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This chapter examines women and national modernity, the theme most directly entangled with the grand revolutionary narrative, and the very term “nation”marks it as a modern construct. The story rests on two foundational assertions. The first, made mostly by recuperative feminist historians, was that “women were there, too” as participants in every important revolutionary moment. The second held that women had long been oppressed by “Confucian society” and that only revolution could free them. Tracing this story out, praising the revolution for its successes and holding it accountable for its failures, has produced much innovative scholarship.

Keywords: women; national modernity; feminism; Confucian society; revolution

Chapter.  11546 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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