Making the National FamilyThe Statist Xiao Jiating

Susan L. Glosser

in Chinese Visions of Family and State, 1915-1953

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780520227293
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926394 | DOI:
Making the National FamilyThe Statist Xiao Jiating

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The state-building possibilities of xiao jiating discourse were exposed by the Nationalists in 1927 by stressing nationalism and patriotic duty. Their version of family reform and its relation to the state differed in emphasis and direction from their New Culture predecessor. Whereas New Culture envisioned a state strengthened by the cumulative effects of individual freedom and productivity, the Nationalists made the state both primary and beneficiary, and the central agent of reform. Many New Culture radicals also believed that the state intervention in the form of new legislation would be an important aspect of effective family reform. From 1912 to 1927, the Supreme Court at Beijing took upon itself the modernization of China's customs in order to bring them into line with those of the international community, and by early 1915, the court began to uphold a woman's right to marry the man of her choice.

Keywords: Nationalist; reform; family; Beijing; xiao jiating; nationalism

Chapter.  21303 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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