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Gender and Gender Roles

(1,065 words)

Author(s): Davin, Delia
Traditional Chinese society, was characterized by a system of sharply differentiated gender roles. Women looked after the inside affairs of the household and were confined as much as possible to the home while men were responsible for outside affairs. In peasant families this meant that men did most of the work in the fields and dominated in clan and village affairs. Women tended pigs and poultry, made clothes, fetched water, and prepared food. Men controlled commerce, business, and the governme…

Marriage Customs

(919 words)

Author(s): Davin, Delia
Marriage in traditional Chinese society was arranged by the family. The parents of the bridegroom selected a bride with the help of relatives, friends, or a matchmaker. They negotiated the brideprice and the dowry, and decided when the wedding should be. The brideprice, meant to compensate the bride's family for the loss of their daughter, was usually considerably greater than the dowry. Dressed in red, the bride was brought to the bridegroom's house in a red sedan chair. Her dowry of furniture,…