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Patriarchy in China

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Chapter Summary

Chinese society was influenced by its own type of patriarchy in a way that set it apart from other socialist societies. Like their counterparts in the Soviet Union and North Korea, Chinese revolutionaries, during the initial phase of building socialism, made an effort to break down the existing mode of family life which served as the foundation of traditional patriarchy. The effort to build socialism strengthened during the period from the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution. This chapter presents a comparison of the Kim Il Sung system and the Cultural Revolution. It depicts the existing employment environment for women and touches upon the completely different conditions that exist in the coastal cities and in the farming villages in the country's inland areas. Patriarchy has been reinforced among smaller families. In the cities, even though it has attenuated, the influence of norms based on gender and generation - patriarchal norms - has persisted.

Keywords:China; Cultural Revolution; gender issues; Great Leap Forward; Kim Il Sung; patriarchy; socialism; Soviet period



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