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Word Count: 983
The family in China is based on authority and obligations that are used to keep the males in their society in power and the power of age is certainly a factor In China the familys needs are put before an individual or that of the larger society The family system has been effective for so long because it has been maintained defended and enforced through laws customs and their language The family in Chinese cultures has an authoritarian structure Authority is determined by first seniority then it is based on sex The oldest in the family are usually above the youngest and males are usually above the females and the family is identified by a surname Their surname remains the essential stamp of ones identity The family is also labeled with a place from which their forefathers came which is inherited from generations before them Passed on by Confucius male dominance was an ancient tradition Since women were viewed as daughters sisters wives and mothers of men they had to be very tough to handle the way life was Otherwise they would be squashed and the only way a woman could become politically powerful was through marriage such as Empress Dowager Ci Xi who used her widowhood to get more control over the country in the beginning of the twentieth century Families provide more of an identity for men and boys rather than women and girls If a woman is not married off she becomes a disgrace to her parents However if a women does marry she ends up being under the control of her new mother-in-law and only once she has gave birth to one or two boys will she have a somewhat secure place in the new family Parents value their sons because they depend on them when they are old whereas daughters are not as likely to be around so they are not valued as much Daughters become a member of
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