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Girl Power: Young Women and the Waning of Patriarchy in Rural North China

Yunxiang Yan
Ethnology
Vol. 45, No. 2 (Spring, 2006), pp. 105-123
DOI: 10.2307/4617569
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4617569
Page Count: 19
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Abstract

Since the early 1950s, several generations of young women in rural north China have responded to social changes brought about by state policies and practices, gradually altering their position in the domestic sphere from statusless "outsiders" to new players in family affairs. While favorable conditions in larger social settings are necessary and important, equally important have been the agencies of young women who took advantage of the new opportunities to challenge the patriarchal order of family life. By focusing on individual young women, the previously marginalized members of the family, this article identifies and provides a better understanding of the most active driving force of family change from within.

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