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‘Living in the Lives of Men’: Martha Foster Crawford

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This article seeks to contribute to the historiography on cross-cultural, interpersonal relationships between Western women and non-Western men by describing some of the interpersonal relationships between a missionary teacher, a pioneer of Woman’s Work for Woman in North China who later criticized single-sex programs that divided men and women, and her male Chinese teachers and students in Shandong (Shantung). The article discusses the development of new social and emotional experiences within the context of guanxi (“kuan-hsi”).These interpersonal connections developed within the broader nexus of traditional and changing relationships with Chinese women and Western men, who were also adapting cultural ideas of sex and gender. Considering such individual variables as marital status, personality, and context, the article presents the meaning that the female missionary gave to her relationships with Chinese males, particularly a favored student to whom she attached herself so closely that she jeopardized her marriage. The article concludes that as Crawford contributed to some of the expansion of opportunities for Chinese males, the opportunities for her transplanted and cross-culturally nourished ideal of sexual equality and social interactivity expanded as well, thanks to such men as Wu Zuan Zhao (Wu Tswun Chao) and Guo You Yong (Kwo Yu Yoong). Résumé Cet article propose une contribution à l’historiographie sur les relations interculturelles et interpersonnelles entre femmes occidentales et hommes non-occidentaux en se penchant sur les liens entre une enseignante missionnaire, une pionnière de l’organisation Woman’s Work for Woman in North China qui en vint plus tard à critiquer les programmes de formation non-mixtes qui séparaient hommes et femmes, et ses enseignants et étudiants chinois de sexe masculin à Shandong (Shantung). Le texte discute le développement de nouvelles expériences sociales et émotionnelles dans le contexte de guanxi (“kuan-hsi”). Ces liens interpersonnels se nouèrent dans un contexte où les relations entre femmes chinoises et hommes occidentaux, qui eux aussi adaptaient leur idées sur le sexe et le genre à leur milieu culturel, balançaient entre tradition et changement. En prenant en compte des variables telles que l’état civil, la personnalité et le contexte, l’article montre le sens que la missionnaires donna à sa relation avec des hommes chinois, en particulier avec un étudiant favori avec lequel elle s’impliqua si profondément que son mariage fut mis en danger. Le texte conclut que, alors que Crawford contribua à élargir le champ du possible pour les homes chinois, son interaction avec des hommes tels que Wu Zuan Zhao (Wu Tswun Chao) et Guo You Yong (Kwo Yu Yoong) contribua aussi à ouvrir son propre idéal d’égalité entre les sexes et d’interactivité sociale à de nouveaux horizons.

Affiliations: 1: Samford University, Birmingham, USA


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