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2 Women and Property in China, 960–1949, Introduction and Conclusion

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Chapter Summary

Women's rights to property changed substantially from the Song through the Qing and even more dramatically in the twentieth century under the Republican Civil Code. Women and Property in China, 960-1949 presents a study of women's rights to property specifically and a study of property rights in general. This understanding of household division (fenjia) and patrilineal succession (chengtiao) has given rise to a static picture of the inheritance regime of late imperial China. Of the two, although household division was the much more common form of inheritance in imperial China, patrilineal succession was by no means insignificant. The "modern" law of the Guomindang had mixed consequences for women. The focus on women led to an entirely different understanding not only of women's inheritance, but of the very logics and consequences of the two conceptual complexes governing inheritance.

Keywords: China; household division; inheritance regime; patrilineal succession; property rights; Republican Civil Code; women's rights



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