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BONDING, BENEVOLENCE, BARTER, AND BRIBERY: IMAGES OF FEMALE GIFT EXCHANGE IN THE JIN PING MEI

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This article examines images of the practice of gift exchange among women in the late Ming. Despite the fact that the majority of orthodox historical and didactic sources overlook such activity among women, other sources such as the novel Jin Ping Mei reveal perceptions that gift-giving practices were common among women and could be used to facilitate many forms of social action. While highlighting the more mundane use of gifts in lieu of cash and the darker aspect of gift exchange for bribery, the fictional world of the Jin Ping Mei also reflects the socially significant practices of dowry preparation, betrothal gift presentation, and the everyday exchange of gifts to develop friendships and relationships.

10.1163/156852603322691128
/content/journals/10.1163/156852603322691128
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/content/journals/10.1163/156852603322691128
2003-10-01
2016-12-09

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