Date of Defense





The present Chinese government has persistently claimed that women have been completely emancipated through the enforcement of Communist ideology. In spite of the claim that women in modern China 'hold up half the sky' traditional beliefs continue to influence the position of women in contemporary China. As a consequence, women in the People's Republic of China — especially students — find themselves in a situation of confusing contradictions and frustrating obstacles. Traditional ideologies, as seen in the patriarchal kinship structure and the economic and political systems, aid rather than hinder the present government as it maintains a similar relation to the people as the dynastic rule of pre-liberation China (Stacey 1983. The radical social, political and economic changes China has undergone from traditional political and social systems under to the present government are not to be trivialized. But change is a matter of degree and there is a reoccurring historical pattern concerning the treatment of women during each phase. This paper will trace such patterns through an examination of traditional China, pre-liberation, liberation and the P.R.C. in the 1980s.

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Honors Thesis-Open Access

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Anthropology Commons