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Word Count: 3,250
It would be impossible to disagree with the statement that Chinese kinship is based on male predominance In fact this statement may even be under-emphasizing the control and absolute power that males wield across all levels of Chinese society Of course where their power initially comes from though is through the family or termed differently the jia It is this extended or ideal family that cultivates the consistent patrilineal form of controldescent and dictates that residence in said jia is primarily patrilocal That being said what I hope to be able to create over the following pages is a clearer understanding of the ideal Chinese system of control This ideal systembased on the ideal of male predominance is outlined impeccably in the writings of Baker Watson and Xiaotong There are also excellent examples of an ideal jia and its power structure in Wolfs ethnography The House of Lim But Wolfs ethnography also outlines examples whereby the ideal system of dominance is not always put into practice or is just not as smooth running as the writings of the 3 former anthropologists would have you believe It is my aim then to include examples of a patriarchal system encountering problems and realities that are difficult to explain in an ideal senseThere is little doubt according to Baker that the first and foremost aspect to understanding Chinese families and society at large is the importance placed on male relationships and descent that is traced through a male line In contrast women in Chinese society were given little thought and even less power They were to be used as reproducers of the male line and to aid in homefarm labour apart from this women had only small amounts of power and responsibility In fact the patriarchal system demanded that a wifes only connection with her husbands family be through the husband himself Her future then was caught up with his and her sons only and she is expected
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