Marriage and inequality revisited: Chinese and Sino-foreign perspectives (I)

Dr Kate Bagnall1, Dr Pan Wang2, Dr Sophie Couchman3, Professor Antonia Finnane4, Ms Sarah Gosper5

1University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, 2UNSW, Sydney, Australia, 3La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, 4University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 5University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Chair: Professor Antonia Finnane

Overview:

The papers in this double panel focus on a theme earlier identified in a volume of essays published in 1991: Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society, edited by Rubie S. Watson and Patricia Buckley Ebrey.  In the years since its publication, a heightened awareness of global connectedness has produced a more obviously spatialized history in which nothing, it seems, is isolated from world currents.  In this double panel, some papers cross national borders in pursuit of their historical subjects while others focus on particular variables in the changing patterns of marriage in China in recent history.  From brides in early twentieth-century Darwin to bachelors in contemporary Xi’an all show the significance of the China’s world context. The co-presentation of the papers is directed at facilitating cross-fertilization of ideas about an enduring social institution that in China continues to be defined as a legal union between a man and a woman. Both directly and indirectly the papers relate to two of the interdisciplinary themes set for the 2020 ASAA conference:  shifting inequalities in Asia, and Australia in Asia/Asia in Australia.

 

ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION

The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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