Chapter

Statecraft and Gender Order in the Qianlong Reign

Janet M. Theiss

in Disgraceful Matters

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780520240339
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930667 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520240339.003.0004
Statecraft and Gender Order in the Qianlong Reign

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The state chastity cult constructed by Yongzheng was only one of many statecraft incarnations of the empire's civilizing ambitions. Its full political and cultural significance comes into focus when one looks at the web of state technologies developed in the latter half of the century to mold society and transform customs. The intertwined agendas of moral transformation (jiaohua) and state building shaped much of the social policy making of the Yongzheng and Qianlong years, indicating that commitment to the Qing vision of the thoroughness, precision, and intimacy of the state's loving support for its subjects was widely shared by Han and Manchu officials alike. Emperors and policy-making officials expounded their views of how to routinize the civilizing mission in bureaucratic practice. These wide-ranging discussions produced new laws and policies to intervene in diverse realms of social life and promote chastity, frugality, and respect for social hierarchy throughout the empire.

Keywords: Yongzheng; state technologies; moral transformation; state building; chastity cult

Chapter.  6482 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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