Stepping out? Women in the Chaoshan Emigrant Communities, 1850–1950<sup>*</sup>

Edited by Helen F. Siu

in Merchants' Daughters

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789622099692
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207189 | DOI:
Stepping out? Women in the Chaoshan Emigrant Communities, 1850–1950*

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This chapter examines women in Chaozhou (eastern Guangdong) during the late imperial and early Republican periods. It uses Chaozhou as an example to argue firstly that economic determination cannot explain why women in mainland China, though given chance and capital, could not enter the public sphere of the business world, and secondly, that in order to enter the business world, it was dependent on the degree of institutional protection a woman, just as men, received, rather than gender per se. The chapter also analyzes the opportunities that might have allowed women to step out from the family and discusses how such opportunities were subordinate to male social ethics.

Keywords: Chaozhou; eastern Guangdong; mainland China; business world; institutional protection; social ethics

Chapter.  8740 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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