Search Results

Volume Editor: Yunxiang Yan
Chinese Families Upside Down offers the first systematic account of how intergenerational dependence is redefining the Chinese family. The authors make a collective effort to go beyond the conventional model of filial piety to explore the rich, nuanced, and often unexpected new intergenerational dynamics. Supported by ethnographic findings from the latest field research, novel interpretations of neo-familism address critical issues from fresh perspectives, such as the ambivalence in grandparenting, the conflicts between individual and family interests, the remaking of the moral self in the face of family crises, and the decisive influence of the Chinese state on family change. The book is an essential read for scholars and students of China studies in particular and for those who are interested in the present-day family and kinship in general.
Author: Yunxiang Yan

Abstract

This chapter introduces a new framework that goes beyond the conventional model of filial piety to explore the rich, nuanced, and often unexpected intergenerational dynamics. The chapter first examines social conditions that have resulted in an inverted generational hierarchy and develops the conceptual tools of post-patriarchal intergenerationality and neo-familism. Then it offers a sketch of other chapters in the volume, each of which speaks to the new framework, albeit from very different perspectives, through vivid portraits of how new patterns of intergenerational dynamics are redefining the Chinese family.

In: Chinese Families Upside Down: Intergenerational Dynamics and Neo-Familism in the Early 21st Century
Author: Yunxiang Yan

Abstract

This chapter takes a closer look at three types of neo-familism. The first is the popular discourse that emphasize the family as the only reliable resource for ordinary people to cope with the increasingly competitive, risky and precarious work place in particular and social life in general. The second is the official discourse by which the party-state redefines the family as a site of governance and incorporates familism into patriotism. The intellectual discourse of neo-familism is the third variation that invokes familism as a cultural capital to resist Western individualism and to construct a Chinese path to modernity. Their differences and interactions are examined in the concluding section.

In: Chinese Families Upside Down: Intergenerational Dynamics and Neo-Familism in the Early 21st Century
Author: Yunxiang Yan

Abstract

This chapter unpacks how family policies were made by the party-state as an instrument of governance to serve the national agenda from 1949 to the present. In numerous ways and during different periods, the party-state took a statist approach in the reshaping of the Chinese family, which generated complex, inconsistent, and sometimes even conflicting policy results that affected the family wellbeing. This statist model originated with the early attempts to reform the family for the purpose of nation-state building at the turn of the twentieth century. The convergence of these historical and contemporary policy results eventually contributed to the rise of neo-familism in the early twenty-first century.

In: Chinese Families Upside Down: Intergenerational Dynamics and Neo-Familism in the Early 21st Century
Editors: Letian Zhang and Yunxiang Yan
This rare unusual collection contains a total of 774 letters, most of which were written by a couple, Mr. Lu and Ms. Jiang, who lived apart for more than fifteen years between 1961 and 1986 and relied mainly on letter-writing to communicate. They passionately revealed romantic love and conjugal compassion to each other; they discussed mundane details of everyday family life including management of the household economy, efforts of interacting with in-laws, relatives, and friends, learning course of raising children, and strategies of coping with financial hardship. They also sincerely engaged each other in a soul-searching process of making themselves into socialist subjects and participating in various political campaigns.

The content of these letters is as rich and complicated as the flow of life itself in which the personal, economic and political are intermingled together. The degree of sincerity and honesty in these letters is greater than that in many other kinds of historical data because the authors are not writing for public consumption. This rare collection of personal letters presents not only a huge amount of original and disaggregated data but also constitutes an oral history of social life in China that is unintentionally being recorded by the authors.
In: Personal Letters between Lu Qingsheng and Jiang Zhenyuan, 1961-1986
In: Personal Letters between Lu Qingsheng and Jiang Zhenyuan, 1961-1986
In: Personal Letters between Lu Qingsheng and Jiang Zhenyuan, 1961-1986
In: Personal Letters between Lu Qingsheng and Jiang Zhenyuan, 1961-1986