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'Modernising Conservatism' in Early Twentieth-Century China: the Discourse and Practice of Women's Education

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This paper focuses on a pervasive strand of thinking on women's public education during the last years of the Qing and early years of the Republic which sought to reconfigure traditional virtues and skills in the cause of family harmony, social order and national prosperity. A study of this 'modernising conservative' discourse on women's education and its critique of the behaviour and attitudes of female students also provides an insight into how female students themselves responded to the new educational opportunities available to them.


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