The Twilight of Chinese Patriarchy: A Preliminary Synthesis

The Twilight of Chinese Patriarchy: A Preliminary Synthesis

Stevan Harrell

Fudan University


 

On April 10, the Xu-Ricci Dialogue Institute organized a conference on "The Twilight of Patriarchy" given by Stevan Harrell, professor at the Unviersity of Washington, Seattle, dpt of anthropology. Professor Harrell introduced the 100 hundred more attendants to the patriarchal structure typical of traditional China, characterized by the structure of property, family structures and a complex system of values and feelings. He showed how this system has been progressively challenged by social, political and cultural changes. At the same time, he insisted that the findings were still provisional, and that more studies had to be led on this watershed transformation, especially when it comes to the control of property and its effects on family solidarity and values. he also showed regional discrepancies in the findings, and pleaded for a meso-level-aproach to social change.