Revolutionizing the Family: Politics, Love, and Divorce in Urban and Rural China, 1949?1968

Hardcover | March 4, 2000

byNeil J. Diamant

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In 1950, China''s new Communist government enacted a Marriage Law to allow free choice in marriage and easier access to divorce. Prohibiting arranged marriages, concubinage, and bigamy, it was one of the most dramatic efforts ever by a state to change marital and family relationships. In this comprehensive study of the effects of that law, Neil J. Diamant draws on newly opened urban and rural archival sources to offer a detailed analysis of how the law was interpreted and implemented throughout the country.

In sharp contrast to previous studies of the Marriage Law, which have argued that it had little effect in rural areas, Diamant argues that the law reshaped marriage and family relationships in significant--but often unintended--ways throughout the Maoist period. His evidence reveals a confused and often conflicted state apparatus, as well as cases of Chinese men and women taking advantage of the law to justify multiple sexual encounters, to marry for beauty, to demand expensive gifts for engagement, and to divorce on multiple occasions. Moreover, he finds, those who were best placed to use the law''s more liberal provisions were not well-educated urbanites but rather illiterate peasant women who had never heard of sexual equality; and it was poor men, not women, who were those most betrayed by the peasant-based revolution.

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China’s new Communist government enacted a Marriage Law in 1950 to permit free choice in marriage and easier access to divorce, while prohibiting arranged marriages, concubinage and bigamy. It was among the most dramatic attempts that a state has ever made to transform marital and family relationships. Revolutionizing the Family: Politics, Love and Divorce in Urban and Rural China, 19...

From the Publisher

In 1950, China's new Communist government enacted a Marriage Law to allow free choice in marriage and easier access to divorce. Prohibiting arranged marriages, concubinage, and bigamy, it was one of the most dramatic efforts ever by a state to change marital and family relationships. In this comprehensive study of the effects of that law, Neil J. Diamant draws on newly opened urban and rural archi...

From the Jacket

In 1950 China's new Communist government passed a Marriage Law that ranks as one of the most dramatic efforts ever by a state to change marital and family relationships. The law prohibited arranged marriages, concubinage, and bigamy, and citizens were now given free choice in marriage and easier access to divorce. In this comprehensive study of the effects of that law, Neil J. Diamant draws on new...

Neil J. Diamant is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Tel Aviv University.

other books by Neil J. Diamant

Embattled Glory: Veterans, Military Families, and the Politics of Patriotism in China, 1949–2007
Embattled Glory: Veterans, Military Families, and the P...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:458 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:March 4, 2000Publisher:University of California PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0520217209

ISBN - 13:9780520217201

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