last book report for chinese class

last book report for chinese class - Amrit Gupta 3/15/08...

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Amrit Gupta 3/15/08 CHN 468-Women in China Book Report: The Unfinished Liberation of Chinese Women The Unfinished Liberation of Chinese Women , by Phyllis Andors, details the treatment towards women in China from the time period 1949-1980. Because the book itself was written in 1983, it provides a more incisive and thorough outlook on the treatment towards women in this time period than perhaps even a modern day book on the same subject. The title of the book itself suggests that the author was hopeful and convinced that the condition or “liberation” of women in China was progressing gradually yet favorably. Although my overall knowledge about this subject was admittedly scarce before reading this book, I found that by the end of this work, I was more knowledgeable about the changing roles of women in China. I also found that I was more knowledgeable about the pivotal economic and social developments that occurred during this time period. In her introduction to the book, Andors states that her main goal in completing this work was primarily based upon a narrative and realistic outlook on the treatment towards women and their effect on the society. She states that “although this study is not primarily a theoretical analysis, but an attempt to describe and understand the reality of Chinese women’s experience, nevertheless, I hope that it can make some contributions to the debates and developments” (9). However, she does seem to take offense to the tenet of Western modernization theory that assumes that there is a certain “biological inevitability” of female roles (1). She maintains that the views of Sigmund Freud are similar to this same tenet of Western modernization theory, and that they are basically misogynistic because they assume the following: “prevent women from successfully 1
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integrating their sexual biological roles with economic or political roles outside the family” (2). Nevertheless, as she ends her introduction, she notifies the reader that she intends to dwell on some significant questions such as the traditional marriage system and the important chances in the division of labor within the family. Andors begins the book by looking at the role of women before 1949, which helps to familiarize the reader with the anticipated changes that they would face in later years. She states that “the process of rapid social change that has characterized post 1949 China and was dramatically intensified by the Great Leap Forward and the important innovations of the Cultural Revolution must be understood in the historical perspective of the often contradictory influences at work in pre-1949 China” (12). The reader is also informed that a major turning point for the status of working class women occurred in the May 4 th era that began in 1917 and lasted until around 1921. During this period, women were a pivotal part of the labor environment especially in the textile industry. Another major event that made women a greater part of the labor force was the work that the Women’s
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last book report for chinese class - Amrit Gupta 3/15/08...

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