Enforcing Gender Order: <i>Between the Ancestral Hall and the</i> Yamen

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:
Enforcing Gender Order: Between the Ancestral Hall and the Yamen

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Family and community authorities were supposed to be catalysts for moral transformation. They were expected to share the state's normative priorities, to serve as effective mediators between state and society, and to transmit and enforce the values associated with state orthodoxy. However, nagging concerns about the weakness or corruption of local magistrates, local elites, and community elders haunted their proposals and reports, and they were especially ambivalent about the effectiveness and commitment of lineage leaders to the imperial state's agenda. While the state was profoundly ambivalent about the proper normative and judicial role of lineage leaders, criminal cases reveal that their authority was regularly challenged by their own relatives as well, suggesting the limitations on their ability to be effective arbiters of morality in local communities.

Keywords: family authorities; moral transformation; state orthodoxy; morality; lineage leaders

Chapter.  7122 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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