Small Happiness - Anthropology 399 Small Happiness...

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Anthropology 399 Small Happiness Professor Yohko Tsuji 1. What does the title indicate about the Chinese family, marriage, and gender relationships? "To give birth to a boy is considered a big happiness. To give birth to a girl is a small happiness. Well, you can't say it's no happiness." - Grandfather in Long Bow village The title of the video is indicative of the status of women in the Chinese family. The women in the video appear not as members of their family but as guests. The only route to social acceptance for a woman is to get married and move in with her husband’s family. Women in the older generations conveyed their loneliness when arriving at their husband's home only to feel isolated and powerless to protest. Because the young bride’s presence threatens her mother-in-law's relations with her son, the bride is pressured to bear a son to attain social acceptance. If a son is born, the mother will protect him dearly because he will remain a source of her status as it is custom for males to stay with their parents and take care of them in old age. She raises him, sees him married, and tyrannizes his wife demanding that she bear a son. And so the circle completes itself. The gender relationships arranged by this society provide clear gender roles for
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This note was uploaded on 08/02/2010 for the course ANTHR 7920 taught by Professor Staff during the Summer '10 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Small Happiness - Anthropology 399 Small Happiness...

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