…a clannish society — at least in rural areas (no, i haven’t read any of these — just found the abstracts online):
Abstract: Alongside the modernization process in rural areas there has emerged a rational trend based on the original patriarchal structure of rural society. As social organizations, clans have a double role to play in current rural development. On the one hand, they are detrimental in terms of social stability, but, on the other, they try to encourage their members to adapt to existing social institutions and structures in order to ensure their continued survival. As a result of the inclusion of relations by marriage and fictitious kinship relations, modern clans are quite different from the traditional patriarchal clans in terms of both membership and structure. The authors focus on clans in everyday life, clans in relation to events, and the practical institutional innovations of clan members. Clans in northern rural areas are quite different from those in southern rural areas in terms of their organizational form, the form of their activities and their external features. Only by conducting investigations in a number of areas can we gain a general picture of the current situation of clans in China’s rural areas and the role they play in the modernization drive.
apparently, clans came back with a vengeance in china in the 1970s and 80s (or maybe they had never really gone away at all…):
Resurrection and Evolution of the Village Clan in Central Anhui-Province over the Past Thirty Years:With Paifang Village of Shanqi Town in Shucheng County for Example – pub. in Contemporary China History Studies, Jan 2009
Abstract: It is almost thirty years since the village clans resurrected in the late 1970s. Studies on the causes of their resurrection have been on the increase in the academic circles. Based on the investigation of the development and changes over the thirty years in Paifang Village, a mountainous village in Central Anhui Province, this article divides the resurrection and evolution of rural clans in this period into two stages: the stage of transient resurrection of traditional clan functions from the late 1970s to the middle of 1990s and the stage of changes in clan notions, behaviors and organizations from the middle of the 1990s onwards. We can see from the analyses of the features of the two stages that the negative effects of clans are only a temporary phenomenon and that with the appearance of networked clans, a new combination of clans, the phenomenon of clans will not be finally dissolved in the big tide of modernization.
Family Culture and Economic Construction in Chaoshan District – pub. in China Rural Survey, March 2003.
Abstract: Family culture has become an important non-institutional variable of local economy through the renaissance of family (lineage) organization in Chaoshan District, Guangdong Province since 1980s. Via investigation on the family organization of Zhangshi Wufang (the fifth branch of lineage Zhangshi), this article sums up the general features of family organization in Chaoshan District, which are regarded as cultural variables in the economic reconstruction in Chaoshao District. In response to the absence of market trust in Chaoshan District, this article analyzes it from a perspective of family culture and proposes the correspondent suggestions to deal with it.
Variation of Rural Clans and Adaptation to Modern Society — Taking the Hengtang People in Wuming County as an Example – pub. in Journal of Baise University (Journal of Youjiang Teachers College for Nationalities Guangxi) Jan. 2008.
Abstract: The transformation of the society in 1980s serves as a turning point of clan development. This paper presents a clan survey of Hengtang people who are a branch of Han Chinese Nationality in Wuming County and the finding is that the clansmen attach much importance to the development of clan culture though some traditional elements of modern clans are missing, which is considered as a variation based on the old clan shape and an attempt to suit the social changes.
not surprisingly, clans are a problem for the central government:
Abstract: Because the villager’s committee has played an important role in the management of the village under the system of country administration, it has been the most important and direct organization of power. Theoretically, it should be a main media by which the modern rule of law is introduced to the countryside. However, the findings of the analysis of the members and work content of the villager’s committee suggests that some villager’s committee, to a great degree, has became the parasitic carrier of some clans so that the rule of law has lost the last supporter and has fallen into a dilemma that it cannot be widely introduced to the countryside.
blood is thicker than water.
roman catholic church = 1, maoism = 0. (~_^)
see also: Ancestral home
previously: chinese kinship terms…
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