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Community and Kinship in Southeastern China: The View from the Multilineage Villages of Hong Kong

Judith Strauch
The Journal of Asian Studies
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Nov., 1983), pp. 21-50
DOI: 10.2307/2054616
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2054616
Page Count: 30
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Community and Kinship in Southeastern China: The View from the Multilineage Villages of Hong Kong
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Abstract

The role of patrilineal ideology in Chinese village social organization varies more widely than the orthodox paradigm would predict. In minor multilineage communities closely interspersed among dominant elite lineages, interlineage rivalry and competition may indeed prevail. But in the many similar villages somewhat removed from the pressures of dominant lineage expansionism, lineage solidarity may coexist harmoniously with community solidarity, legitimized through a liberal extension of the kinship idiom. This article reviews several village studies and describes in detail a multilineage alliance that complements rather than supplants lineage unity, suggesting that principles of segmentary opposition and solidarity can provide positive means of integration among separate lineages in a shared territory as effectively as among branches of a single lineage.

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