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ERIC Number: EJ765220
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
The "New Social History" in China: The Development of Women's History
Wang, Shuo
History Teacher, v39 n3 p315-323 May 2006
The most remarkable change in historical studies in China during the last two decades has been the rise of new social history. It challenges the traditional historiography in three ways: in the objects studied, in the sources used, and in methodology. Consequently the rise of new social history has profoundly impacted women's history in China. For thousands of years, Chinese history has been basically men's history. The main reason women were ignored related to their political, economic, and social position in the society. In this article, the author discusses women's history as an important new field of social history in China. As a new field of social history, women's history in China is still in its infancy. There are at least two areas that need to be further developed. First, current works on women's history, especially in the pre-modern period, primarily focus on family life, marriage, childbearing, and sexuality. Needless to say, these are indeed the important areas women make their dramas, but the study of women's lives and their contribution to society should go beyond the inner-quarter. Women's roles in society at large, such as women's labor, education, and religious practices, should also be studied. Another problem in the field is that some historians are still using a sinocentric approach to conduct their research and overlook ethnic distinctions among the people of China. When studying Chinese women in history, one should understand and view them as diverse ethnically. Women's identities and behaviors can be very different according to the diversities of ethnicity and social status. In conclusion, while the author believes that as a new field of social history, Chinese women's history has a very bright future, its development must be based on a deep understanding of Chinese history and culture, solid primary sources, and an open-minded attitude to new theories and methodology. (Contains 26 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China