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The marriage law and family change in China with special reference to Kwangtung Province 1950-1953 Ng, Roxana 1975

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THE MARRIAGE LAW AND FAMILY CHANGE IN CHINA WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO KWANGTUNG PROVINCE 1950 - 1953 by ROXANA KG B.A. (Hon.), U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s tandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1975 In presenting th i s thes i s in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make it f ree ly ava i lab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thes i s for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t i on of th is thes i s fo r f i nanc i a l gain sha l l not be allowed without my writ ten pe rm i ss i on . Department of Anthropology and Sociology The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1WS October 8, 1975. i i ABSTRACT This thesis i s concerned with discovering some changes in the Chinese family af t e r 1949. Since the Marriage Law, promulgated on May 1, 1950, i s the most important piece of l e g i s l a t i o n by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regarding marriage and family reforms, t h i s study thus focuses on the Marriage Law and the subsequent campaigns for i t s implementa-t i o n . The time period investigated i s from 1950 to 1953, when the Marriage Law campaigns were launched on a national scale. In order to f i n d out how the Law was enforced on the l o c a l l e v e l , the province of Kwangtung i s chosen as a case study. The thesis begins with a discussion of the h i s t o r i c a l situations of the Chinese family and i t s changes before Liberation. It then examines the scope and purpose of the Marriage Law. The various implementation campaigns, f i r s t on the national l e v e l , and then in Kwangtung, are described respectively. Lastly, the study attempts to assess the impact of Marriage Law implementation movements and to speculate on some changes which have occurred in the con-temporary Chinese family by using recent research and tou-r i s t s ' accounts on China. This study i s b a s i c a l l y a h i s t o r i c a l survey making use of i i i (a) o f f i c i a l documents on the Marriage Law implementation, such as d i r e c t i v e s , propaganda handbooks, and so on; (b) r e p o r t s and r e a d e r s ' o p i n i o n s p u b l i s h e d i n Chinese newspapers; and (c) magazines and p e r i o d i c a l s from C h i n a . Secondary sources i n c l u d e v i s i t o r s ' r e p o r t s on China, f i e l d -work and researches done both i n China and i n Hong Kong. I t i s o f t e n argued that the Chinese l e a d e r s h i p aims at the a b o l i t i o n of the f a m i l y i n s t i t u t i o n . The present i n v e s t i -g a t i o n r e v e a l s t h a t , w h i l e the Chinese government indeed wants to d i s g a r d some elements i n the t r a d i t i o n a l f a m i l y system, the f a m i l y i t s e l f i s r e t a i n e d as the b a s i c u n i t o f p r o d u c t i o n . In f a c t , the Marriage Law i s the main r a i s o n d ' e t r e f o r the c o n t i n u i n g e x i s t e n c e of the f a m i l y . The s t r e n g t h s of f a m i l y o r g a n i z a t i o n are u t i l i z e d by the Communist l e a d e r s h i p to promote the development of a s o c i a l i s t s t a t e i n China. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Chapter 1: The Study of Family Change 1 Statement of Scope and Objectives 1 Literatures on the Marriage Law " 3 Some Theoretical Issues on Family Change 7 Research Method and Related Problems 13 Notes 21 Chapter 2: H i s t o r i c a l Perspectives of the Chinese Family 22 The T r a d i t i o n a l Family System i n China 22 What i s a Chia? 23 The Structure and Ideology of the Chia 24 The Marriage System 27 The Position of Women i n the Family 30 The Large Extended Family in China -Myth or Reality? 33 A "Family Revolution" i n China? 43 The Rising Position of Women 47 The Kuomintang Family Law 48 The Type and Size of Family 52 Notes" 57 Chapter 3: The Marriage Law of the Chinese People's Republic, 1950 59 V Page Marriage and Family i n Liberated Areas before 1949 59 The Scope and Purpose of the Marriage Law 61 General Survey of the Law 62 The Scope of the Law 74 Notes 79 Chapter 4: The Implementation of the Marriage Law, 1950-1953 81 Introduction 81 The Promulgation of the Law and Its I n i t i a l Implementation 82 The Campaign of 1951 90 The Marriage Law Implementation Campaign in 1953 93 Notes 102 Chapter 5: The Implementation of the Marriage Law in Kwangtung 105 Kwangtung at the Time of Takeover 105 The Promulgation of the Marriage Law and Its E f f e c t s i n Kwangtung 107 The Campaign i n 1951 111 The 1953 Campaign i n Kwangtung 115 Concluding Remarks 122 Notes 125 Chapter 6: Some Aspects of Change i n the Chinese Family 127 Page Introduction 127 The Posi t i o n of Women 132 Marriage Practices, 136 Toward a Western Nuclear Family? (Family Patterns i n Contemporary China) 141 Notes 148 Chapter 7: Summary and Conclusion 150 Appendix I: Marriage Regulations of the Chinese Soviet Republic of 1st December, 1931 154 Appendix I I : Marriage Law of the Chinese Soviet Republic of A p r i l 8, 1934 157 Appendix III:The Marriage Law of the People's Rebulic of China 161 Appendix IV: Note on Source Materials and Perio-d i z a t i o n 167 Bibliography 168 v i i LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Family Type and Social Classes Table 2: Average Family Size and Social Classes Table 3: Family Types among Tradition-bound and Modernized Groups i n Peiping Table 4: Tabulation of Shanghai C i v i l Cases Page 36 37 53 87 v i i i LIST OF DIAGRAM Page Diagram 1: Some Variations of the Chia 40 ix:;. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The completion of a task i s very seldom the single e f f o r t of an i n d i v i d u a l . Various people have contributed to the writ-ing of t h i s thesis, and they a l l deserve a note of thanks here. Thanks must f i r s t go to members of my committee. I wish to thank Professor Graham Johnson for suggesting the topic for t h i s thesis, and for supervising my work from beginning to end. Professor E l v i Whittaker has been most he l p f u l throughout the course of the year and at d i f f i c u l t times. Her comments and suggestions have inspired and sustained me through the most c r i t i c a l periods. Professor Edgar Wickberg was extremely generous i n providing b i b l i o g r a p h i c guides up to his leave. Both Professors Helga Jacobson and T i s s a Fernando kindly agreed to be present at the defense of the th e s i s . Their suggestions were c r u c i a l to the improvement of the f i n a l d r a f t . Special thanks must also go to the people of the Asian Studies Library i n U.B.C. and the Far Eastern Library i n the University of Washington. They were most patient and coopera-t i v e i n helping me to locate obscure Chinese source materials and i n making them available to me. I wish to thank a spe c i a l f r i e n d and teacher. Dr. E l i z a -beth Johnson, who has kept an interest i n my work a l l along, and who very kindly shared with me ideas of her own d i s s e r t a t i o n . X My f r i e n d and colleague, B r i j L ai, contributed much to th i s work through discussions and constructive c r i t i c i s m s . He also kindly agreed to proof-read the f i n a l d r a f t of the thesi s . I owe him a special debt of gratitude for his f a i t h i n my a b i l i t y . Ronnie Sizto generously volunteered his pre-cious time for typing various drafts of t h i s thesis and for preparing the f i n a l manuscript. Last, but not least, I wish to thank my mother, who has uncomplainingly r e l i e v e d me from my share of household chores. Fellow graduate students who have provided encouragement and moral support throughout the entire endeavour are too many to be mentioned. Without them, th i s thesis could never have been written. The f a i l i n g s and shortcomings of t h i s work, however, remain my own. This thesis i s dedicated to my parents EVAN and KATHERINE WU , who f i r s t started my interest i n the Chinese family 1 CHAPTER 1 THE STUDY OF FAMILY CHANGE Statement of Scope and Objectives The Communist Revolution, which led to Liberation i n 1949, marked the end of some t r a d i t i o n a l patterns i n Chinese society and opened up a new phase of development i n China. After take-over, the Communist leadership t r i e d to introduce some funda-mental changes into the Chinese s o c i a l f a b r i c . The kinship pattern, being one of the most pervasive and resistant aspects of the o l d society,"'' i n e v i t a b l y became the subject of attack. The transformation of the Chinese family since 1949, therefore, presents an i n t e r e s t i n g problem for students of family change. This work i s e s s e n t i a l l y a study of family change in China since 1949 with special reference to the Marriage Law and i t s implementation. The determination of the Chinese leadership i n e f f e c t i n g changes in the family and marriage i n s t i t u t i o n s i s demonstrated by the fact that the Marriage Law was the f i r s t piece of l e g i s l a t i o n promulgated a f t e r Liberation. The Law i t s e l f and the body of written material pertaining to i t s subsequent enforcement are representative 2 of the o f f i c i a l ideology regarding marriage and family reforms i n China. Although the o f f i c i a l l y d i c t a t e d ideal may 2 not correspond e x a c t l y to the r e a l s i t u a t i o n o f the Chinese f a m i l y , the a n a l y s i s o f these documents at l e a s t serves to i n d i c a t e the d i r e c t i o n o f change. Moreover, the present study hopes to r e c o n c i l e the gap between the o f f i c i a l i d e a l o f the Chinese f a m i l y and the r e a l p a t t e r n s by f i r s t examining how the implementation o f the marriage p o l i c y was enforced, and second, the extent to which the p o l i c y was f o l l o w e d by s t u d y i n g recent r e s e a r c h on the Chinese f a m i l y c a r r i e d out i n Hong Hong ( f o r example. P a r i s h & Whyte, n.d.). Since China i s a v a s t country w i t h pronounced r e g i o n a l d i v e r s i t y , i t can be expected t h a t the implementation of a p o l i c y may v a r y s l i g h t l y from one p l a c e to another. Thus, one aspect of t h i s t h e s i s i s concerned w i t h d i s c o v e r i n g how the e n f o r c e -ment of the Marriage Law was c a r r i e d out i n p r a c t i c e . To do t h i s , Kwangtung p r o v i n c e i s chosen as a case study f o r s e v e r a l reasons. F i r s t and foremost, w h i l e v a r i o u s aspects o f the Marriage Law have been s t u d i e d ( f o r i n s t a n c e , Madian, 1962; M e i j e r , 1971; N i i d a , 1964), no case study has been done on i t s implementation. By f o c u s i n g the i n v e s t i g a t i o n on a s p e c i f i c r e g i o n , the t h e s i s hopes t o f i l l t h i s v o i d p a r t i a l l y . Furthermore, s i n c e , i n the past, t h i s southern p r o v i n c e was an area famous f o r i t s l a r g e s c a l e u n i l i n e a l k i n s h i p o r g a n i z a t i o n (Freedman, 1968), i t was, and s t i l l i s , a r e g i o n p a r t i c u l a r l y 3 resistant to change. The fact that i t was a Kuomintang stronghold and one of the l a s t provinces to come under Com-munist control presented a p a r t i c u l a r l y problematic area for the Chinese government to administer p o l i c i e s i n the beginning of the regime. Although the implementation of the Marriage Law was generally d i f f i c u l t in China at that time, special approaches might have to be taken i n a region l i k e Kwangtung, which had d i f f e r e n t problems from other provinces. The study of Kwangtung, therefore, i s valuable i n fin d i n g out how the Chinese government wrestled with the problem of enforcing a po l i c y there. Literatures on the Marriage Law The Marriage Law i s not a t o t a l l y new f i e l d of i n v e s t i -gation. A number of studies have been devoted to i t . The b r i e f overview by Noboru Niida leaned heavily on the sa l i e n t l e g a l aspect of the Law (Niida, 1964: 3-15), s p e c i f i c a l l y the re g i s t r a t i o n of marriage and divorce. The argument of t h i s study i s that the promulgation of the Law d i d not take place i n a vacuum. The "subjective conditions" of marriage reform could not be r e a l i z e d unless there was a change i n the "ob-3 j e c t i v e circumstances" at the same time, in t h i s case, land reform, which allowed the independence of women from t h e i r husband. Thus, the Land Reform Law and the Marriage Law 4 were c l o s e l y r e l a t e d , and they were the p r e r e q u i s i t e s f o r China's s o c i a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n ( i b i d : 5 ) . But w h i l e N i i d a s u c c e s s f u l l y showed how the Marriage Law had g i v e n men and women equal r i g h t s i n the new s o c i e t y , he d i d not go beyond the l e g i s l a t i o n to f i n d out how the marriage p o l i c y was enacted i n an e s s e n t i a l l y t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t y J In a s i m i l a r v e i n , S.L. Fu o f f e r e d a more d e t a i l e d study of the Law (see Fu, 1956). He d i d not o n l y review the Law i t s e l f , but a l s o compared i t w i t h o t h e r marriage l e g i s l a t i o n such as the Russian Law and the Kuomintang C i v i l Code. The author p o i n t e d out the c o n s e r v a t i v e elements o f the Law, and at the same time made a somewhat incomplete survey o f i t s implementation. C u r i o u s l y , i n s t e a d o f viewing the Law as an instrument f o r s o c i a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , the author a r r i v e d at the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t l o v e and marriage were no longer a p r i v a t e a f f a i r under the Communist regime. In the l i g h t o f the M a r x i s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f s o c i e t y , marriage and f a m i l y i n s t i t u t i o n s became a "grim n e v e s s i t y " , h i s t o r i c a l l y and m a t e r i a l l y con-d i t i o n e d ( i b i d : p. 115). Madian's study supplemented what these two a r t i c l e s l a c k e d . She t r a c e d the implementation o f the Marriage Law from 1950 to the end o f the nationwide campaign i n 1953 (Madian, 1962), and aimed at ar g u i n g t h a t i n i t i a l l y , the predominant 5 goal of the Marriage Law was destruction of the t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese family system ( i b i d , p. i v ) . It w i l l be seen l a t e r that my findings cast some doubts upon her claim, because she had slmost completely overlooked the integrative aspects of the Law and i t s related documents. What was absent i n Madian's investigation, and l a t e r i n Meijer's d e t a i l analysis of the marriage p o l i c y , was the lack of s p e c i f i c case material. Hence, although these two studies are valuable i n givi n g a comprehensive survey of the o f f i c i a l ideology of marriage and the family i n China, they f a l l short i n f a i l i n g to describe how t h i s ideology was transmitted to the masses i n pr a c t i c e . It should be mentioned that Meijer's research i s extremely circumstantial, containing material of marriage reform up to the C u l t u r a l Revolution i n 1966 (Meijer, 1971). His b r i l l i a n t i n t erpretation of governmental documents of f e r s valuable i n -sights into the changing functions of the Marriage Law. How-ever, l i k e the other authors, he concentrated on the l e g a l and p o l i t i c a l implications of the l e g i s l a t i o n , rather than specu-l a t i n g i t s s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e with regard to family change. This thesis attempts i n part to close t h i s gap by examining the e f f e c t s of the marriage p o l i c y on the Chinese family system. Another work which referred quite heavily to the Marriage Law material i s Yang's study on the Chinese family i n the 6 beginning years of the Communist regime (Yang, 1959). In his book, Yang compared various aspects of the Chinese family i n t r a d i t i o n a l China, during the "Family Revolution", and under Communist rule, but his emphasis was not on the Marriage Law. Apart from t h i s major work by Yang, other material on the Chinese family a f t e r 1949 do not represent a systematic f i e l d of i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Owing to the absence of adequate information on t h i s subject, the majority of these studies are highly speculative. Some, such as Chao's thesis on the family i n Soviet Russia and China, are c h i e f l y t h e o r e t i c a l 4 speculations. Chao's work was an analysis of the r e l a t i o n -ship between evolutionary theories of family development and Marxist doctrine of the family (see Chao, 1963; 1967). Others are argumentative (for example, Freedman, 1964; Fried, 1959 & 1962; Whyte, 1973), with only passing mention of the Marriage Law. The most commonly held view i s that the Communist leader-ship attempted to abolish the Chinese family. As t h i s thesis t r i e s to demonstrate, t h i s view i s an oversimplistic one. People who held t h i s p o s i t i o n usually overestimated the Com-munist's attack on the family. They had neglected the issue that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) only aimed at e f f e c t i n g changes which would lead to a new kind of family system. As Whyte quite r i g h t l y argued, they also overlooked "the f l e x i -7 b i l i t y of the family as an i n s t i t u t i o n , and i t s a b i l i t y to adapt and to accomodate i t s e l f to changing p o l i t i c a l and economic structures without breaking down" (Whyte, 1973: 175). By way of the d e t a i l e d study of the Marriage Law and i t s implementation, t h i s work also hopes to add to t h i s scarce resource of l i t e r a t u r e by looking at some changes which took place i n the Chinese family a f t e r Liberation. Some Theoretical Issues on Family Change While there i s no dearth of l i t e r a t u r e on the family, i t i s not a well-organized f i e l d of special interest (see B e l l & Vogel, 1960: v). This i s es p e c i a l l y true i n the area of family change. Although a great deal has been written on t h i s subject recently both i n the context of the Western society and modernizing s o c i e t i e s , no systematic approach has yet been developed to study the eff e c t s of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n or modernization i n r e l a t i o n to family change.^ The term, family change, i s used here e s s e n t i a l l y to denote s t r u c t u r a l changes i n the family, that i s , the change of one type of household pattern, such as the j o i n t family, to another, such as the conjugal or nuclear family. Changes i n other areas not d i r e c t l y related to household structure, such as f a m i l i a l . rel a t i o n s , w i l l only be dealt with in sofaras they a f f e c t 8 s t r u c t u r a l changes of the family i n one way or another. The debate of family change usually revolves around the re l a t i o n s h i p of the conjugal family and other i n s t i t u t i o n s ' of i n d u s t r i a l society, and the changes which take place i n the family system of t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t i e s under the impact of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n (see Podmore & Chaney, 1974). It had been commonly assumed that the emergence of the i s o l a t e d nuclear family was the d i r e c t consequence of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and urbanization. This view was p a r t i c u l a r l y associated with s o c i o l o g i s t s studying family change i n the American society a f t e r World War I I . Research c a r r i e d out during t h i s period pointed to the diminishing size of the American family and the increased rate of separation and divorce. To account for these phenomena, some s o c i o l o g i s t s noted that, as a society became more i n -d u s t r i a l i z a e d and complex, some of the previous functions of the family were s h i f t e d to the larger s o c i a l structure as better community and public f a c i l i t i e s developed (see Obgurn, 1962). Technology, then, was responsible for the weakening of the family as an i n s t i t u t i o n . Later s o c i o l o g i s t s of the s t r u c t u r a l functional school, notably Talcott Parsons, re-jected t h i s claim, but came up with s i m i l a r conclusions (see Parsons, 1955; 1960). A l l i n a l l , the end result of these 9 studies may be summarized to say that i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n broke up the extended family system and replaced i t with the conjugal family which was better adjusted to the urban way of l i f e . Some c a l l e d t h i s the "fringe family" (see Jaco & Belknap, 1962). The same argument i s applied to the study of kinship patterns and modernization i n a c r o s s - c u l t u r a l context. T r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t i e s are characterized by values which are as c r i p t i v e and p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c , whereas developed countries exhibit features that are u n i v e r s a l i s t i c (see Hoselitz, 1960). Some of the most important effects of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n are the s t r u c t u r a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n and s p e c i a l i z a t i o n of roles i n the major i n s t i t u t i o n a l spheres (Eisenstadt, 1966: 3). The processes of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n tend to disrupt the t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l patterns, and one spe c i a l aspect of t h i s development i s the segregation of the occupational and p o l i t i c a l spheres from the extended kinship system. Since i n i n d u s t r i a l socie-t i e s , s o c i a l status or prestige i s attained primarily through achievement rather than a s c r i p t i o n , elders can no longer exer-cis e the same amount of control over t h e i r descendants, who are able to gain f i n a n c i a l independence by working outside the home. This encourages them to break away from the t i e s of; the extended kin network to form t h e i r own conjugal units (see Levy, 1949). At the same time, i n d u s t r i a l demands also 10 require people to leave t h e i r tradition-bound home environment to seek jobs i n urban centres i n order to better t h e i r economic positions. As modernization progresses, therefore, large kin-ship organizations are loosened as a result of the extensive physical mobility of the i n d i v i d u a l members. While .this geo-graphical mobility involves a concomitant physical separation of kinsmen, i t also e n t a i l s a s o c i a l consequence, namely, the separation of kinsmen i n s o c i a l status and s t y l e of l i f e (see Moore, 1965: 86), which further impels the formation of con-jugal pattern of household arrangement. The extended kinship networks, then, gradually lose t h e i r pervasiveness, and one of the most fundamental of t h i s implications i s the individua-t i o n and i s o l a t i o n of the nuclear family (Smelser, 1966: 115). In conclusion to t h i s argument, the "advanced urban-industrial market conditions and f u l l - s c a l e extended kinship system are ini m i c a l to each other ( i b i d ) . In an i n d u s t r i a l setting, the family tends to surrender many of i t s t r a i n i n g functions to formal educational i n s t i t u t i o n s . Modernization and in d u s t r i a -l i z a t i o n tend to stimulate the development of a family u n i t formed on "emotional a t t r a c t i o n b u i l t on a l i m i t e d sexual-emotional basis" (Smelser, 1966: 117). On the other end of the scale, some s o c i o l o g i s t s and anthropologists argue that even i n the American context, the 11 i s o l a t e d nuclear family i s a myth (see Litwak, 1968; Sussman, 1968). F i r s t of a l l , the nuclear family i n North America was a rather stable pattern existed before i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n took place (Furstenberg, 1968). Furthermore, studies conducted i n the United States show that the conjugal family, though seem-ingly i s o l a t e d at f i r s t glance, i s i n fact t i e d to a network of other family units, which together constitute the so-called "modified extended family structure" (Litwak, 1968: 83). These families are not necessarily bound together by demands for geographical propinquity or occupational s i m i l a r i t y , but, rather, on an equalitarian basis for mutual aid. Instead of r e s t r i c t -ing the a c t i v i t i e s of the individuals i n an urban environment, t h i s kinship system actually f a c i l i t a t e s family members to compete i n the modern world, because "the f l e x i b i l i t y of the extended family i n committing i t s resources coupled with the deference family members pay each other means that extended family aid act across class l i n e s and form strong bonds be-7 tween family members" ( i b i d : 82). Outside of North America, there i s the example of the Indian joint-extended family system. Far from d i s i n t e g r a t i n g under the impact of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , r i c h families i n Madras c i t y a c t u a l l y u t i l i z e the extended family networks e f f e c t i v e l y to pursue t h e i r economic ends. While the j o i n t family system 12 i s somewhat modified i n appearance, the members of i t do, none-theless, acknowledge t h e i r claim to and membership i n i t des-p i t e the fact that they l i v e i n separate conjugal units (see Singer, 1968). This example seems to suggest that family s i z e and type are c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to resources. The l i m i t a t i o n of resources may be responsible for the preference of nuclear families i n modernizing s o c i e t i e s . But whenever family re-sources permit, people tend to favour the extended household arrangement, and i t i s easier for families to approach the i d e a l pattern of the large extended family. In recent years, Good's characterization of the interac-tion, between family and i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n i n terms of a conse-quent v a r i a t i o n on the conjugal form has gained much support among family researchers (see Podmore & Chaney, 1974). This view favours the idea that most family types are moving toward a conjugal pattern s i m i l a r to the Western nuclear family, which i s somewhat "modified", i n modernizing s o c i e t i e s . The p a r t i c u l a r v a r i a t i o n depends, f i r s t l y , on the i n t e r a c t i o n of the family and other i n s t i t u t i o n s i n the process of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , and secondly, on p r e - i n d u s t r i a l systems and structures (see Goode, 1963: 1-26). In connection with t h i s debate, however, i t may be noted that i n Japan, for instance, the extended family system has persisted i n spite of a high degree of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n 13 (see Greenfield, 1961: 315). Attempts are now being made to te s t two main aspects of family change based on Goode's hypo-thesis. These areas are: (a) the extent and sources of v a r i a -tions i n family relationships i n i n d u s t r i a l s o c i e t i e s (for ex-ample, Anderson, 1971), and (b) the family systems of indus-t r i a l i z i n g s o c i e t i e s (for example, Padmore & Chaney, 1974). It i s now generally agreed that some adjustment or modi-f i c a t i o n usually takes place i n the indigenous family system under the impact of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and rapid urbanization. However, most family change theories are formulated according to empirical evidence of one s p e c i f i c s o c i e t a l type, namely, that of the Western c a p i t a l i s t society. Family change i n China a f t e r the establishment of the People's Republic repre-sents something based on a d i f f e r e n t model, that i s , the s o c i a l i s t one. Whether the above formulations about the re-l a t i o n s h i p between the f i t of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and family change can be applied to the case of China w i l l be part of the discussion to follow. Research Method and Related Problems O r i g i n a l l y , the goal of t h i s study was to trace the changes in family relations and family patterns i n China a f t e r 1949. Soon. . a f t e r the beginning of the research, however, i t was d i s -covered that there were several setbacks in attempting to ex-14 amine family change i n these areas. F i r s t , f i r st-hand i n f o r -mation on the family per se, which was not i n accordance with the o f f i c i a l view of the Chinese leadership, was extremely meagre. Second, t h i s kind of information was scattered and d i f f i c u l t to locate or to obtain. Tracking down t h i s type of material would be a formidable task made p r a c t i c a l l y impossible because of the time l i m i t a t i o n of t h i s research. Third, the information which was available tended to emphasize the posi-t i v e aspects of the real s i t u a t i o n rather than the negative ones. The gap i n these sometimes contradictory s t o r i e s could only be f i l l e d by guess work. Contrary to t h i s picture, nor-mally the promulgation of a major p o l i c y was accompanied by a body of documents regarding i t s implementation. The Marriage Law enacted in 1950 i s an example. Since t h i s piece of l e g i s -l a t i o n was the only major marriage p o l i c y effected a f t e r Libe-ration, i t presented a po t e n t i a l source of investigation for family change i n China. Both Chinese and English materials were used for t h i s work. Primary data for the research was e s s e n t i a l l y gathered from o f f i c i a l documents released i n the Chinese press, from pe r i o d i c a l s and so on. These were mainly h i s t o r i c a l material. Secondary information consists of t o u r i s t s ' impressions of China and researches c a r r i e d out either i n China (for example, 15 Myrdal,. 1965 ), or by interviewing refugees i n Hong Kong (for example. Parish & Whyte, 1974). Owing to the nature of the data co l l e c t e d , the method of analysis was a q u a l i t a t i v e one. Apart from tables adapted or figures quoted from other sources, no quantitative method had been employed. Furthermore, the relationships of the variables of s t a t i s t i c s released from the Chinese press were sometimes quite dubious, p a r t l y because they were used only as i l l u s -t r a t i o n s . Except for using them for the same purpose, there-fore, no attempt was made to analyse these figures. The c o l l e c t i o n of primary data from Chinese sources was made es p e c i a l l y problematic because only a few places in North America contain complete or near-complete sets of these materials. Most of these documents are not i n the U n i v e r s i t y Library. But even a f t e r the problem of obtaining these materials, such as the Nan-fang jih-pao on microfilm form, was solved, another d i f f i c u l t y presented i t s e l f . The documents which were a v a i l -able were not necessarily i n complete chronological order. Some issues could be missing, which meant that a chronological survey was sometimes rendered incomplete due to t h i s l i m i t a t i o n . The Chinese materials used for t h i s research can be c l a s s i -f i e d into four main types. They are (1) newspapers, which are sub-divided into two types, (2) perio d i c a l s and/or magazines. 16 and (3) published handbooks or pamphlets, etc. The d i f f e r e n t types of written documents w i l l be discussed i n greater length in the following passages. Newspaper material i s divided into two kinds. F i r s t , the newspaper clippings by the Union Research Inst i t u t e i n Hong Kong (commonly known as the URI c l i p p i n g f i l e ) provides an important source of information. The f i l e contains a coglomo-ration of clippings from most major newspapers i n China. These clippings are divided into s p e c i a l areas of i n t e r e s t , such as women's and youth's movements, b i r t h control movements, and so on. The marriage reform movement, fortunately, comes under one of these areas, and the f i l e contains clippings on d i r e c -t i v e s , reports, and so on, from d i f f e r e n t parts of China. This enables the researcher to make regional comparisons i n the analysis of the data. However, the major disadvantage of t h i s f i l e i s that clippings of newspapers i n the early and l a t e f i f t i e s are completely missing, which means that a survey of the most important years of the marriage reform movement has to be r e l i e d on other sources. In order to f i n d out how the enforcement of the Marriage Law was c a r r i e d out i n Kwangtung, another kind of material must be used. An extensive survey of the o f f i c i a l press of Kwangtung, Nan-fang jih-pao, i s made between 1950 and 1953. 17 This brings to l i g h t the importance of the Marriage Law p o l i c y i n r e l a t i o n to other movements and campaigns, and also the p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l conditions of Kwangtung at that time. Unlike the URI f i l e , which primarily contains d i r e c t i v e s and important a r t i c l e s of marriage and the family. Nan-fang J i h -pao has actual case material from d i f f e r e n t parts of the pro-vince as well as that from other provinces. This proves useful in providing a more comprehensive picture of the s i t u a -t i o n i n Kwangtung. The t h i r d type of documents examined are p e r i o d i c a l s and magazines, such as Chung-kuo fu-ntt and China Reconstructs. Although these magazines do not usually contain material on the Marriage Law i t s e l f , they have reports and a r t i c l e s d i s -cussing the question of marriage and divorce, f a m i l i a l r e l a -tions, women's movement, day care, commune organization, and so on. From these a r t i c l e s information on family change can be inferred. The l a s t type of documents are published works on, for instance, the Marriage Law and women's movements, which are in book form. They are either research papers or o f f i c i a l documents c o l l e c t e d from newspapers and other o f f i c i a l sources, normally published for propaganda purposes. Handbooks and guidebooks for the Marriage Law are examples of t h i s type. 18 These books are useful for discovering some of the techniques used in propaganda. They also d i s c l o s e p a r t i a l l y how the implementation campaigns were effected. A chief problem associated with the analysis of these documents i s the question of interpretation. As previously mentioned, the documents released regarding the implementation of the Marriage Law i s representative of the o f f i c i a l ideology of the Chinese leadership. This body of material, then, can be viewed as representing an id e o l o g i c a l system. One of the most important goals of the Chinese leadership i s to transmit t h i s ideology to lower l e v e l o f f i c i a l s , cadres, as well as the masses. But the transmission of ideas requires the use of a common language based on common categories of thought. Thus, when p o l i c i e s are conveyed from the Central Government to the l o c a l people's governments, and when reports and feedbacks from the l o c a l people's governments are sent to Peking, a set of standardized categories for describing p a r t i c u l a r phenomena must be employed. In the context of China, these c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of thought are mainly derived from the language of the common culture, but when thus employed, the meanings of these cate-gories carry s p e c i a l communicative si g n i f i c a n c e which requires e f f o r t , perseverance, and a knowledge of the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l conditions to understand. One c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s categorical 19 language i s that the meanings of the terms constantly evolve. The term, "feudal behaviour", for instance, may vary i n mean-ing from "oppression of women" to " t h i r d person interference of marriage", or, stretching i t further, i t can be expanded to include a l l those things which hinder the development of the society. Hence, despite the fact that the Chinese show great consistency i n using these categories, they are reluc-tant to define them, because although " e d i t o r i a l o f f i c e s are c a r e f u l l y c o n t r o l l e d to make certa i n that the right terms are always used, those same terms are ra r e l y defined with s i m i l a r p r e c i s i o n " (Schumann, 1966: 59). Cadres, o f f i c i a l s and the masses learn the precise meanings of these categories by using them, and discussing them repeatedly i n study sessions and discussion groups. The meanings of these terms are, therefore, not at f i r s t apparent to an outsider, even though he has a good command of the language. Schurmann names t h i s the "closed communications systems" ( i b i d : 58). This i s a major d i f f i c u l t y for students of contemporary Chinese society. The analysis of the documents does not only require a knowledge of the language, but, furthermore, i t requires the researcher to decipher the menaing contained i n the messages, and to f i n d out how the terms are applied to describe s o c i a l phenomena. The discussions i n the foregoing sections have served to 20 h i g h l i g h t some problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the present study. They have a l s o helped t o focus the areas f o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n . In the chapters t o f o l l o w , we hope t o analyse the purpose o f the Marriage Law, to examine i n some d e t a i l how i t was imple-mented, and t o s p e c u l a t e on some changes which have taken p l a c e i n the f a m i l y . But b e f o r e we do t h a t , a review o f the h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n s o f the Chinese f a m i l y i s i n o r d e r . 21 FOOTNOTES - CHAPTER 1 """The importance of kinship i n the Chinese society w i l l be explored i n d e t a i l i n Chapter 2. 2 The term, ideology, i s used very loosely here to r e f e r to a set of ideas shared by a group of people. Thus, o f f i c i a l ideology refers to the ideas held by the Chinese leadership. 3 The terms, "subjective conditions" and "objective c i r -cumstances" are both quoted from Niida (1964). In his a r t i c l e , "subjective conditions" refer to those changes which are d i r e c t l y r elated to marriage reform. "Objective circumstances" are s t r u c t u r a l changes which occur i n other sectors of the society, of which land reform i s an example. Niida's argument i s that unless there were other changes i n China at the time, marriage and family reforms could not be effected. 4 The a r t i c l e s by Francis Hsu on Chinese kinship structure also belong to t h i s group (see Hsu, 1969, 1965 and 1966). ^There are exception, however. Parish's thesis on migra-t i o n and kinship changes i n Taiwan (Parish, 1970), and E. Johnson's research on household structure i n Hong Kong (John-son, 1975) are developments i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n . Dr. Johnson's generosity i n sharing with me ideas about her study i s grate-f u l l y acknowledged. g Levy's argument w i l l be examined i n more d e t a i l i n Chapter 2. 7 What i s lacking i n the material mentioned above, however, i s the analysis of the variations of family organization i n r e l a t i o n to resources and/or c l a s s . Studies on working class family i n North America are rare. Most researches are done on the middle class families, and the pattern of t h i s type of families becomes the "norm", so to speak, i n most discussions of family change. Although i t i s beyond the scope of t h i s thesis to look into the problem of family resources v i s - a - v i s family types, i t i s important to point out that t h i s question may be c r u c i a l to family v a r i a t i o n s . 22 CHAPTER 2 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES OF THE CHINESE FAMILY The T r a d i t i o n a l Family System i n China T r a d i t i o n a l China was e s s e n t i a l l y an agrarian society composing mainly of peasants. Ih a peasant economy in which exploitation of the land i s the most basic means of l i v e l i h o o d , kinship usually forms a central organizational device of the s o c i a l structure."'" Within the complex, m u l t i - l e v e l system of kinship organization, the family i s , almost without excep-tion , the most fundamental unit around which other groups are arranged. It i s not surprising, therefore, that the family system (chia-t'ing chih-tu) was one of the most important ins-t i t u t i o n s i n the t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese s o c i a l f a b r i c . Indeed, s o c i a l relationships outside the family were very often pat-terned a f t e r the family system; for example, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between o f f i c i a l and the people, between master and apprentice, or between teacher and p u p i l operated on a simulated father-and-son basis (see Yang, 1959: 6). P a t r i l i n e a l i t y and patrimony were the c r u c i a l operational keys of the system, and the per-petuation of t h i s system was determined by economic and ideo-l o g i c a l c r i t e r i a to be examined below. 23 What i s a Chia? While the chia i s often translated into English as the family, i t entailed much more than the Western concept of the nuclear family. It was, i n e f f e c t , an economic -unit "con-s i s t i n g of members related to each other by blood, marriage, or adoption and having a common budget and common property" (Lang, 1946: 13). Thus, kin t i e s alone d i d not make an i n -d i v i d u a l a member of t h i s group. People belonging to the same chia must have a series of claims of one sort or another on the chia as an estate. In his study of the Chinese family, Cohen (1970) i s o l a t e d three components of the chia. F i r s t , there must be a chia estate. It was either a common piece of land or bui l d i n g or both, to which the process of fen-chia (the d i v i s i o n of the family) was applicable. Second, the chia was made up of a group of persons who had rights to the chia estate at the time of fen-chia. Third, there was the chia economy, which was defined as "the exploitation of the chia estate, and the benefit derived therefrom, as well as ... other income-producing a c t i v i t i e s linked to i t s e x p l o i t a t i o n through remittances and a common budgetary arrangement" (Cohen, 1970: 27). Members of a chia, therefore, d i d not only include those people who l i v e d within- the same household. So long as the 24 individuals contributed financially to their original - family - such as in the case of people working elsewhere -, or were financially supported by the family - such as in the case of students they considered themselves members of the chia. Viewing the family as an economic entity, then, i t can be seen that the chia was a unit within which many kinds of resources and wealth were obtained and allocated in one way or another. The role of the "financial manager", so to speak, was thus very important. This position normally f e l l upon the eldest male member of the most senior generation, who was the family head (chia-chiang). His task was to control the family's financial aff a i r s . Earnings from a l l members must go to him, although sometimes they might keep a portion for pocket money. Apart from keeping accounts of the family bud-gets and looking after the family estate, the most important responsibility of the family head was to act as redistributive agent through which interfamilial economic activity was affected. He was invariably the most important person in keeping the chia together as a whole. The Structure and Ideology of the Chia Theoretically, the chia was an extended family of at least three generations. Having five generations in the same hall was the common aspiration of almost every Chinese in the traditional 25 s o c i e t y * The b i g f a m i l y c o n s i s t e d of many u n i t s , some of them resembled the conjugal f a m i l y of husband, w i f e and c h i l d r e n , . w h i l e others resembled the j o i n t f a m i l y type. Each u n i t was a fang, and each fang might occupy a d i f f e r e n t s e c t i o n of the f a m i l y d w e l l i n g . Within such a system, the emphasis was on male dominance. A u t h o r i t y was p a t r i a r c h a l . The chia-chiang's words were law, and everyone owed him obedience and respect. The r e l a t i o n s h i p s of the f a m i l y members were d i c t a t e d by a c l e a r l y d e f i n e d h i e r a r c h y w i t h the chia-chiang at the top. In t h i s h i e r a r c h y , s e n i o r i t y , age, and sex marked the a u t h o r i t y and s t a t u s of the i n d i v i d u a l s . The young must respect the o l d . The w i f e must obey her husband. Even the law i n t r a d i t i o n a l China aimed at upholding the e s t a b l i s h e d s t a t u s of i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n the f a m i l y , not at the question of r i g h t or wrong (see Chfl, 1965).' Since p a t r i l i n e a l i t y was the r u l e f o r Chinese k i n s h i p , descent was t r a c e d through the male l i n e to the e x c l u s i o n of women. Daughters were married out, to be absorbed as daughters-in-law i n other f a m i l i e s , thereby c u t t i n g most of t h e i r t i e s w i t h t h e i r n a t a l home. The c h i l d r e n they bore belonged to t h e i r husband's f a m i l i e s . Once a woman was married i n t o a c h i a , she became a l e g i t i m a t e member of her new home. From then on, she must behave according to the r u l e s d i c t a t e d by 26 that family. S i m i l a r l y , the right of inheritance applied only to the male members of the family, and women were completely -ruled out. The rule of primogeniture was not practised i n China. Family property and wealth were to be divided equally among a l l male members of the chia. From an economic point of view, therefore, i t was to the advantage of the chia as a cor-porate group i f the wealth could be kept under one roof with-out d i v i d i n g for as long as possible. Consequently, s o l i d a r i t y was important for the chia system to remain i n t a c t . In order to maintain the integration of the system, the family organi-zation must function i n ways which tended to i d e n t i f y the status, the in t e r e s t , and the sentiment of the individ u a l s within the chia. The emphasis on f i l i a l p iety was one of the most c r u c i a l factors for maintaining the s o l i d a r i t y of the system and governing intergenerational r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Indeed, i t was the highest value i n the Chinese moral code. U n f i l i a l behaviour was a serious crime, and was punishable by death (CM, 1965: 25-26). The notion of f i l i a l p iety d i d not end upon the death of the parents. The symbols of the dead continued to occupy a place in the family a c t i v i t i e s of the l i v i n g . The l i v i n g members of the family f e l t obligated to perpetuate the memory of someone with whom they had l i v e d , and to l e t the dead know 27 that the family l i n e was carrying on. It was believed that the dead, i n the shadowy world, continued to oversee the con-duct of the e x i s t i n g members of the family and took part i n an i n v i s i b l e way i n t h e i r struggle for happiness and prosperity (see Yang, 1961: 29). The dead who had no descendant was p i t i e d and feared, because his s p i r i t would turn into a wan-dering ghost, p o t e n t i a l l y malignant to the l i v i n g . The l i v i n g and the dead members were linked together by the highly r i t u a -l i z e d ceremonial i n s t i t u t i o n of ancestor worship. There were two kinds of ancestor worship (see Freedman, 1970: 173). A family customarily addressed i t s e l f on major annual f e s t i v a l s to i t s ancestors and reported to them as a c o l l e c t i v i t y . The second type of worship was more personal. Individual ancestors were tended on t h e i r death dates, perhaps with t h e i r favourite food being set before them and the family as a whole paying i t s respect ( i b i d ) . Ancestor worship thus served as an im-portant means to consolidate and s t a b i l i z e the Chinese kinship organization. The Marriage System The heavy emphasis on p a t r i l i n e a l i t y meant that the re-l a t i o n s h i p between husband and wife was not stressed. Since marriage was the f i r s t step i n the creation of a family and the bond maintaining the continuation of the family, the 28 marriage system was one of the central concerns of the chia. It was the interest of the chia to see that the marriage of a family member d i d not disrupt the integration of the family system. The marriage system was c a r e f u l l y c o n t r o l l e d by the senior family members to ensure the s t a b i l i t y and continuation of the chia. It was not so much an a f f a i r of the grown-up children as that of the parents and the family. The notion of mutual a f f e c t i o n between the couple p r i o r to the wedding ceremony was i r r e l e v a n t . The chia-chiang, together with other older members of the chia, was responsible for s e l e c t i n g a mate for the son of marriageable age. (The same also applies to daughters.) This was arranged through a go-between, who was f a m i l i a r with the background of the prospective groom's as well as the bride's f a m i l i e s . This i s because marriage was, more-over, a kind of transaction between two f a m i l i e s . The compati-b i l i t y of the s o c i a l status of the families was an important c r i t e r i o n for mate s e l e c t i o n . Although t h i s phenomenon was p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced among r i c h families, i t was also the hope of poorer families, i f they could, to make use of t h i s opportunity to improve t h e i r status and/or wealth. Since the purpose of marriage was not for the married son to depart from the family of orientation, but to continue and to expand i t , marriage could not be allowed to transfer 29 the centre of af f e c t i o n , l o y a l t y , and authority from the parents to the new couple. Not only were the couple strangers to each other before they got married; even a f t e r marriage, open d i s -play of a f f e c t i o n was discouraged. In many ways, marriage and i t s ensuing relationships remained subordinate to the welfare of the family organization (see Yang, 1959: 23-29). The main function of the marriage system was to f u l f i l l the purpose of producing sons f o r the perpetuation of the family. Economic aspects of the wedding also served to emphasize the couple's dependence on the chia. A bride-price was usually paid by the groom's family. Indeed, older peasant women i n Hong Kong s t i l l referred to t h e i r marriages by saying, "When I was sold to t h i s v i l l a g e . . . . " (E. Johnson, 1973: 3). From that point onwards, the bride belonged to her husband's family. After marriage, the couple continued to l i v e in the same house-hold with the groom's parents. Financially,, they were dependent on the household head, as i t was he who cont r o l l e d the purse-s t r i n g . Of course, variations on t h i s basic pattern occurred. In the case where the groom's family could not aff o r d the bride-pr i c e , a c h i l d bride (t'ung yang hsi) might be pruchased when the groom was s t i l l i n his childhood. Not only would t h i s practice released the l i t t l e g i r l ' s family from the burden of 3 0 bringing her up, but the groom's family also had the opportuni to t r a i n her from an early age and at the same time to ensure her l o y a l t y to the family. ' If the groom's family was poor, i t would often mean that bride-price could not be accumulated u n t i l the groom was quite old. It would also l i m i t his choice of a bride, and his parents' chance of l i v i n g to see t h e i r grandchildren. Therefore r i c h e r people usually had larger f a m i l i e s . Despite t h e i r aspiration for the i d e a l extended family, poor peasants' households remained small. However, the same p r i n c i p l e s of perpetuating the family l i n e and i n -creasing family wealth were c a l l e d into play i n the marriage system, and the dominance of the parents i n t h i s matter cut across the class structure i n t r a d i t i o n a l China. The Position of Women in the Family The Chinese emphasis on patrimony and patriarchy meant that women occupied a very low p o s i t i o n both at home and i n the larger society. Although a woman's po s i t i o n rose with her age and the length of time since she was married into her husband's home, she owed absolute obedience to her husband and parents-in-law. A husband could divorce his wife because of at least seven "crimes", namely, disobedience to a husband's parents, barrenness, adultry, jealousy, incurable disease, » loquacity and t h e f t . But a woman could divorce her husband 31 only under extreme circumstances (T'an, 1932: 4). From the Sung dynasty onwards, a woman i d e a l l y should not remarry a f t e r the death of her husband ( i b i d ) . By Ch'ing times, divorce be-came the exclusive right of the husband. When a husband was d i s s a t i s f i e d with his wife, moreover, he could take a concu-bine. It i s very often argued that the low status of women was only true for the upper or gentry c l a s s . In the lower s o c i a l stratum,, .peasant women had to pa r t i c i p a t e i n a g r i c u l t u r a l work with t h e i r husbands, thereby gaining some power i n the larger s o c i a l ambience. However, while t h i s i s true to a cer t a i n extent, i n fact, only a small percentage of women d i d j o i n i n productive labour outside the home (see E. Johnson, 1973: 2). Even i f they d i d gain some power inside the household, very few were able to own property. Land and other means of pro-duction were owned and contr o l l e d by men. The fact that i t was a common custom for women to bind t h e i r feet, a practice which started among the upper class and gradually spread to the peasantry, meant that t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s outside the home were severely r e s t r i c t e d , which reinforced t h e i r dependence upon the men. Furthermore, a woman's transference to a t o t a l l y a l i e n environment upon marriage put her in an almost completely i s o -lated p o s i t i o n . U n t i l she gave b i r t h to children and b u i l t up 32 her own "uterine family",* she was e f f e c t i v e l y a stranger i n her husband's family. In the uterine family, the woman was the centre. More-over, although a woman had a subservient role i n r e l a t i o n to her husband, as a mother, her power was great. Law i n t r a d i -t i o n a l China recognized her authority over her ch i l d r e n as equal to that of the father. Society and law also demanded that a son must respect and be f i l i a l to his mother. While the father was an ahthoritative figure, she represented love and kindness to the children. In day-to-day interactions, she had a much more intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p with her children than the father could ever have. Her constant presence i n the household further strengthened her intimacy with the children. In the home, therefore, she was the p i l l a r of emotional support, and she bound her children to her by strong t i e s of a f f e c t i o n . However, her power was derived s o l e l y from being wife to her husband (Chtl. 1965). She herself had no r e a l authority. Generally, i t remained true that i n order to make her opinions be known in the family and the larger society, she had to be represented by a man. In t h e i r s o c i a l i z a t i o n , women, p a r t i -c u l a r l y peasant women, learned to assess moods and evaluate the consequences of t h e i r own and others' actions i n the domestic environment, and they also learned to make themselves 33 heard by manipulating these s k i l l s which they acquired through t h e i r childhood t r a i n i n g (see, for example, Wolf, 1972 & 1974). Summing up, then, i t can be said that i n t r a d i t i o n a l China, women had always played a subservient role i n the family and the larger society. Although they could gain a ce r t a i n degree of power as a mother and l a t e r as mother-in-law, l e g a l and s o c i a l rules defined her r e l a t i v e l y i n s i g n i f i c a n t exis-tence. The Large Extended Family i n China - Myth or Reality? In the West, China had been conceived of a land of large extended families encompassing at least three generations. This popular image of the Chinese family organization, how-ever, has been refuted by studies and research on the Chinese family (see Lang, 1946; F e i , 1939; Uang, 1945). There were in fact a great deal of variations in the structure of the Chinese family. Hardly any families, except, perhaps, the very r i c h , could normally achieve the ideal large family of having several generations under the same roof. The majority of the families, e s p e c i a l l y in ru r a l areas, were small. Studies showed that in urban centres, j o i n t families were ac t u a l l y more numerous (Lang, 1946; F e i , 1939). However, although large families were rare i n the country, they were known to exis t (see Wolf, 1968; Freedom, 1958; Yang, 1945). 34 In examining family patterns in r u r a l China, I have found s i x types of f a m i l i e s . The s t r u c t u r a l variations of the f a -m i l i e s are shown i n Diagram 1, based on Fei's research on Kaihsienkung (Fei, 1939). These patterns were by no means r i g i d , however; a family might go through two or three variations over a period of time. Perhaps i t i s best to see the chia as going through a developmental cycle, so that "these v a r i a -tions could appear within the history of a given chia in such a way as to make i t equivalent at c e r t a i n times to what i s usually regarded as a family" (Cohen, 1970: 21). Nevertheless, t h i s process must not be viewed in purely developmental terms. Although i d e a l l y family members would l i k e to l i v e together, the resources of the family were the c r u c i a l determinant of family size and household structure. A j o i n t or extended family economic system might allow for a maximum mobilization of family labour in the exploitation of family holdings, but i f family resources were limited, and the land scarce, a d i v i -sion might prove more p r o f i t a b l e for the conjugal units within the chia. However, i f family resources and wealth permitted, i t could be expected that a chia would develop into the ex-tended v a r i e t y i n accordance with the deeply implanted Chinese i d e a l . An example of a farm family achieving t h i s goal would be the house of Lim of Peihotein, Taiwan, studied by Margery 35 Wolf (see Wolf, 1968). Lang's study (Lang, 1946) also brought to l i g h t the re-lationships of family types, sizes, and s o c i a l classes (see Table 1 and 2). Table 1 indicates that the wealthier the v i l l a g e r s , the larger the f a m i l i e s . In the landlord c l a s s , only 12% of the families were of the nuclear v a r i e t y . The rest were a l l stem or most often joint families, whereas among poor peasants and farm labourers, t h i s figure dropped to a l i t t l e over 107o. Family s i z e , too, was d i r e c t l y related to s o c i a l classes. Rich families had more people, whereas poor ones had considerably less members. These figures are in agreement with other findings of Chinese family size (see Fe i , 1939; Hsu, 1943; Yang, 1945). The results presented here support the argument above, that i s , the size or the type of chia had much to do with the resources and economy 3 of the family. While s o c i o l o g i s t s and anthropologists have offered d i f f e r e n t explanations for the s t r u c t u r a l d i v e r s i t i e s of the chia, i t seems that invariably they were t i e d to the economy of the family i n one way or another. It i s the purpose here to explore some of the reasons for the inevitable d i v i s i o n of the chia, and to see what explanations can be yielded i n terms of the chia's economy. TABLE 1 FAMILY TYPE AND SOCIAL CLASSES Vi l l a g e s in North China (adapted from Lang, 1946: 136) farm poor middle well-to-do landlords Total labourers peasants peasants peasants • Number of families 61 163 125 58 51 458 Family type (per cent) conjugal 54% 41% 27% 17% 12% stem 35% 44% 44% 42% 35% j o i n t 11% 15% 29% 41% 53% TABLE 2 AVERAGE FAMILY SIZE AND SOCIAL CLASSES Vil l a g e s i n North China (adapted from Lang, 1946: 148) farm poor middle well-to-do landlords Total labourers peasants peasants peasants  Number of families 61 163 125 58 51 458 Average s i z e 4.3 5.1 6.9 7.5 8.9 38 To recapitulate, perhaps the most c r u c i a l factor affec-t i n g the continuation or discontinuation of the chia in t r a -d i t i o n a l China was the economic base. In a country which was primarily based on agriculture, such as i n the case of China, land was the measure of wealth and prestige. Thus, r i c h families had more land and more resources, and n a t u r a l l y a more secure economic base. At the same time, more people were needed to exploit the family estate. Although t h i s could be done by h i r i n g outside labour, as i t was often done, r i c h families s t i l l preferred to keep the estate intact, because large family was, moreover, a symbol of prestige. Hence, jo i n t or extended families were more common among landlord (see Table 1). Poorer families d i s l i k e d d i v i s i o n as much as r i c h ones, but the lack of family resources and land s c a r c i t y sometimes made d i v i s i o n a necessity. A chia might have enough sons to form a large family. There might not be, however, enough land to maintain a group of several small families, and i t might be d i f f i c u l t to obtain the additional land needed for t h e i r maintenance (see G a l l i n , 1966: 142). In t h i s case, de facto primogeniture was sometimes practised, and the other sons might be forced to leave and t r y t h e i r luck elsewhere. It a son was already married, he might have to leave his wife and children behind with his parents, while remitting part of 39 his income home (see Diagram 1). In other instances, the father must leave out of economic necessity, leaving his family i n the v i l l a g e , while he t r i e d to make a l i v i n g elsewhere (see Kulp, 1925, for example). Under these circumstances, the family must reduce i t s members to a minimum. Children born to the poorer families were l e s s . Both b i r t h control and abortion were used as devices of population c o n t r o l . Infanticide among poor peasant families was not uncommon. Sometimes, children just died because there was not enough food to / feed them (see Hinton, 1966). Infant mortality rate was very high among pea-sant households. Rich families tended to have more children (see Table 2). Thus, children were an ind i c a t i o n of wealth i n t r a d i t i o n a l China, because only r i c h people could a f f o r d to bring most, i f not a l l , of t h e i r children to maturity. The economic resources d i d not only a f f e c t family size, but also exercised a tremendous e f f e c t upon the relationships of household members. In an economically secure family, i t was easier for sons to obtain wives, again because the family could a f f o r d to pay the dowry for the brides. Indeed, sons from prosperous families tended to marry at a much ear-l i e r age (see Freedom, 1958 and 1966). For a poor family, on the other hand, obtaining a bride was an enormous expense. When a son could a f f o r d to get married, he was probably quite TYPE 1 Conjugal 58%* A=CK ATO} A~6 TYPE 2 Stem 6% o=Ab TYPE 3 Jointed 3% £=6 TYPE 4 Broken 27% # A=0 TYPE 5 Temporarily broken (at leasij one member l i v i elsewhere) 5% A =^0 ta'A O 0=r. TYPE 6 M a t r i l o c a l 1% KEYS: 4L.<8 Deceased This person resides elsewhere These percentages are taken from Fei's study on Kaihsienkung. The "rest are my estimates according to known figures DIAGRAM 1. SOME VARIATIONS OF THE CHIA 41 advanced i n age. The hard-gained bride was na t u r a l l y much valued i n the family, e s p e c i a l l y so because concubinage was p r a c t i c a l l y out of question. Moreover, i n a less wealthy family, acquiring a wife meant having an extra pair of hands to help with production and other chores. Needless to say, the re l a t i o n s h i p between the son and his wife was closer than in a family i n which there was a s t r i c t segregation of the husband's and the wife's spheres. In a r i c h , extended family, the emphasis of p a t r i l i n e a l i t y was much stronger. In a poor household, the husband-wife re l a t i o n s h i p might well take precedence over that of the parent and c h i l d . I f the wife was i n c o n f l i c t with the mother-in-law or other members of the family, her husband might side with her. It seemed ine-v i t a b l e that a p a r t i t i o n would eventually occur. Further, in his study on r u r a l farm families, G a l l i n observed that, since the chia-chiang had almost complete control of the family's economic assets in large, f i n a n c i a l l y secure fami-l i e s , he was more dominant and authoritative i n imposing his w i l l on other family members ( G a l l i n , 1966: 159). On the other hand, in the absence of a strong and authoritative chia-chiang in smaller families, disagreements among brothers and t h i e r wives would quicken the process of d i v i s i o n . Although the above reasons serve to explain p a r t i a l l y why small families were prevalent i n r u r a l areas, one type 4 2 of family, namely, the matri l o c a l (uxorilocal) type, i s l e f t without explanation, and i t deserves a few words here to com-plete the picture of the s t r u c t u r a l variations of the chia. Since carrying on the family l i n e was an important responsi-b i l i t y of family members, i n case of the absence of e l i g i b l e members to i n h e r i t the family property and thus continue the family l i n e , other devices must be employed. Sometimes, adop-tio n was practised; other times, a kin member not belonging to the chia was assigned the right to in h e r i t the family estate. When these devices f a i l e d , however, i t was common to absorb a son-in-law into the family. His children then belonged to his wife's family, and the kinship pattern was m a t r i l i n e a l . In most cases, the son-in-law would also reside with his wife's family, and the sons, born to him r i g h t f u l l y inherited his father-in-law's estate. In t h i s s i t u a t i o n , the husband usually enjoyed l i t t l e authority in the home, since he had l i t t l e or no control over the family's budget. This kind of marriage and residence pattern was not desirable (see, for instance, Wolf, 1972), but for those who were unable to f i n d a suitable mate, i t was sometimes the only a l t e r n a t i v e . The foregoing discussion aims at examining some s t r u c t u r a l variations of the chia and some reasons for these patterns. While the ide a l large extended family was by no means a myth, 4.3 and was indeed highly desirable, owing to cert a i n l i m i t a t i o n s , i t was never a predominant phenomenon. The average household siz e i n t r a d i t i o n a l China was small. A "Family Revolution" i n China? The period between 1911 and 1949 was a time marked by rapid and complex s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l changes as the l a s t dynasty i n Chinese hi s t o r y was overthrown and a republican government was formed. It was also a period of great confu-sion, as China was groping for new d i r e c t i o n s i n i t s p o l i t i -c a l , economic and s o c i a l spheres. Moreover, t h i s period saw a rapid permeation of Western ideas, which began to fuse deeply into the thinking of the e l i t e and i n t e l l e c t u a l classes. Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Republic, for example, drew from the West much of his ideas of a democratic state. Of course, t h i s i s not to say that Westernization was unknown in China p r i o r to 1911. Various reform:Movements had been attempted as a r e s u l t of China's repeated defeats by Western powers to-ward the end of the Ch'ing dynasty (see Franke, 1970; Gasster, 1972). Some qf the reforms promoted by K'ang Yu-wei are cases in point. However, i t was only a f t e r the establishment of the Republican government that the tempo of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and modernization quickened. From the Ch'ing experiences, i t was apparent to the 44 Chinese r u l i n g class at t h i s time that i n order for China to modernize, she must toss away or at least revise some of her "old ways of doing things", so to speak. China's attitude toward! the West was an ambivalent one. While the educated e l i t e s re-sented foreign imperialism and i t s destructive e f f e c t s i n China, they also r e a l i z e d that they must borrow Western ideas and technology for China's modern development. When Yuan Shih-k'ai became the president of the Republic i n 1911, he attempted to replace the t r a d i t i o n a l order with Western law (Meijer, -;" 1971: 22). Most p o l i t i c a l leaders at t h i s time looked to the West for tbe basis of a new set of laws and ideas of modern sciences. China was by no means a u n i f i e d country with a single government at t h i s time, however. The land was divided by war-lords occupying d i f f e r e n t regions. It was some time a f t e r the f a l l of Yuan Shih-k'ai that China was united to a c e r t a i n degree by the Kuomintang government.".; One of the achievements of the Kuomintang was the introduction of a system of le g a l codes, including c i v i l law, commercial law, penal law and procedural law, which together established a Western l e g a l system i n China. In" the short years of i t s rule, before the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war, i t "made a great e f f o r t to f i l l the void l e f t by the breakdown of the old order with a new system of law and courts modelled on the European continen-45 t a i system" (Meijer, 1971: 22). Together with the i n f i l t r a t i o n of Western technology and law i n China were the concepts of individualism>-the ideas that the i n d i v i d u a l rather than the family should be the focus<; and basis of decision-, romantic love and freedom of marriage. These ideas were p a r t i c u l a r l y persuasive among the i n t e l l e c -t u a l e l i t e s , who condemned the t r a d i t i o n a l family system which ignored the interests of the younger generation. They chal-lenged the authority of the chia-chiang, the h i e r a r c h i c a l structure of family r e l a t i o n s , the rationale of the arranged marriage and so on. The i d e a l of the big family (ta-chia-t*ing) was repudiated by young people. The f r o n t a l attack on the o l d family system was p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced around the t ime of the May Fourth Movement i n 1919. But even before then, i n 1916, the "Chinese Renaissance Movement" was launched (see Lang, 1946: 109-111). A group of young professors of Peking University, such as Ch'en Tu-hsiu, Hu Shih, and others, edited a magazine c a l l e d The New Youth (hsin-ch'ing-nien), which spoke for the young people at that time. The Renaissance Movement aimed at r a d i c a l changes i n China's s o c i a l and p o l i t i -c a l l i f e , and advocated the right of the i n d i v i d u a l to happi-ness and s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n . It condemned Confucianism and the ideology of the chia. This was c l e a r l y demonstrated by an 46 a r t i c l e t i t l e d , "The old Chinese family system i s the basis 5 of absolutism" by Wu Yu, published i n The New Youth. The famous novel by Pa Chin, Chia, also stressed the inhuman as-pects of the extended family and urged young people to break away from i t . Family l i f e based on mutual love and respect of husband and wife was praised, and the conjugal family con-s i s t i n g of husband, wife and children became the aspired model for the educated youths. This was also c l o s e l y linked to i n -d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . In the c i t i e s , modern industries demanded a much larger labour force than ever before i n China. Now, young people were able to work apart from t h e i r homes and be finan-c i a l l y independent from t h e i r families (see Levy, 1949). In a way, t h i s also contributed to the loosening t i e s between the individuals and the chia. Levy argued that since technological demands of modern business and industry removed an ancient heritage from the older generation and since modern industry placed an emphasis on individuals as sources of family income, parents l o s t much control over the younger generation. He noted that the family i n China was undergoing a "revolution", as young people rebelled strongly against t h e i r previous role in the family. This was manifested by the large numbers of young people leaving home and moving to the c i t i e s i n search of economic independence ( i b i d ) . However, as w i l l be pointed 47, out l a t e r , t h i s phenomenon was r e s t r i c t e d to a minority of the population close to i n d u s t r i a l centres. The Rising Position of Women While the i n t e l l e c t u a l s were questioning the t r a d i t i o n a l assumptions of the chia, women in China were also becoming increasingly aware of t h e i r s o c i a l position, s p e c i f i c a l l y those i n urban areas who were i n contact with the i n t e l l e c t u a l and p o l i t i c a l climate of the time. Again, t h i s was related to home industry and other s o c i a l change, which brought about a greater independence of women from t h e i r previously dependent and secluded l i v e s . Women were gradually absorbed into the labour force, probably for the f i r s t time i n Chinese h i s t o r y . They began to protest against t h e i r ascribed s o c i a l r o l e . The Renaissance Movement also t r i e d to e n l i s t women i n i t s ; struggle. In a series of a r t i c l e s i n The New Youth, women's emancipation, t h e i r rights to enjoy economic independence, to choose t h e i r mates, etc., were promoted (see Lang, 1946: 110). The period during the la t e twenties and early t h i r t i e s was e s p e c i a l l y marked by the organization of women's movements. Studies on women became a preoccupation of the educated class (e.g. Ch'en, 1928; Kuo, 1937), p a r t i c u l a r l y among women them-selves (T'an, 1932; Wang, 1934). With the support and en-couragement of the i n t e l l e c t u a l s , they further questioned and 48 fought for t h e i r rights i n the society. In the second National Conference of Women's Movement in 1926, the issues regarding women's right i n inheritance, equal wages, and protection of woman and c h i l d workers were raised. The l e g i s l a t i o n regard-ing women's right, i n inheritance was passed by the l e g i s l a t u r e . i n December, 1930 (Wang, 1934: 56-57). This indicates that women were also challenging the o l d s o c i a l and l e g a l systems, and asked that cMnges with regards to t h e i r interests be made. The Kuomintang Family Law Even toward the end of the Ch'ing regime, demand for change i n family law was great. A d r a f t for a new family law -.' was drawn up as early as 1911 by the Ch'ing government, but i t was never passed owing to the collapse of the dynasty. A second d r a f t based on the f i r s t one was written i n 1915. Another one, the Third Peking Draft, was introduced i n 1925, and yet another one was l a i d down by the Second Congress of the Kuomintang i n 1926. However, they were never put into e f f e c t (for d e t a i l , see Van der Valk, 1939; Goode, 1963: 271-273). The family law promulgated by the N a t i o n a l i s t (Kuomintang) government became e f f e c t i v e on May 5, 1931. It was included i n the C i v i l Code, Books IV and V, e n t i t l e d Kinship and Succession. It dealt with issues such as betro-t h a l , marriage, divorce, rights and duties of parents and 49 children, family council, etc, (for d e t a i l , see Meijer, 1971: 26-28), According to the law, the Chinese family was s t i l l patronymic, p a t r i l i n e a r , p a t r i l o c a l and p a t r i a r c h a l . Although i n p r i n c i p l e , the equality of the sexes was recognized, yet the man's pos i t i o n as the head of the conjugal family gave him the decisive voice i n the event of c o n f l i c t with his wife over the exercise of parental r i g h t s . The provisions of the code d i d away with the o l d idea that marriage was a family a f f a i r , and the freedom of choice i n marriage for both parents was e x p l i c i t l y recognized. Marriage could be terminated by mutual consent of the partners, or, i n ce r t a i n circumstances, by j u d i c i a l decree. However, although the man's authority as father was d r a s t i c a l l y : attacked, so that the family council was allowed to in t e r f e r e when parents abused t h e i r power, the idea that care for parents took precedence over care for c h i l d -ren was preserved (Meijer, 1971: 26-29; Lang, 1942: 115-119). While the Na t i o n a l i s t government had made the attempt to change the t r a d i t i o n a l code, nevertheless, e f f o r t was not spent to implement the new law. It was hoped that with time, the people would a v a i l themselves of the machinery of the new lav/ to obtain t h e i r rights (see Meijer, 1971: 29). Marriage and the Family during the "Family Revolution" The uproar of the i n t e l l e c t u a l s , students and women 50 might give the impression of d r a s t i c changes i n the family-system i n China. The actual picture d i d not, i n f a c t , match the expected rate of change. The o l d pattern persisted. Backed by t r a d i t i o n , the parents were not w i l l i n g to surrender t h e i r power and respect as the senior generation of the family/: and few children, save the educated i n urban centres, i n s i s t e d upon t h e i r r i g h t s . In the country, people might not even be aware of the changes which were rapidly a l t e r i n g the face of the c i t i e s . In a survey of marriages conducted i n the v i l l a g e s of North China (Lang, 1946: 123), out of the 360 marriages investigated, i n only one case d i d the parents asked the con-sent of the young man, a college student. Out of the 170 r u r a l inhabitants interviewed, only three women admitted ever having heard of "modern marriages" ( i b i d ) . Even among the workers and lower middle class in Peiping, the o l d pattern held true. However, according to the same study, i t seemed that parents in the c i t i e s were less conservative, and were more ready to accept the idea of freedom i n marriage. In the v i l l a g e s , i t was absolutely impossible for the young people to choose t h e i r own mates. Although the t r a d i t i o n a l type marriage arrangement was beginning to f a l l into d i s c r e d i t among the o f f i c i a l s , pro-fe s s i o n a l workers, and educators i n Peiping and Shanghai, a l -most a l l marriages i n a l l s o c i a l class were concluded with :51 the help of go-betweens or through t h i r d person introduction (Lang, 1946: 124-125). Moreover, i t was s t i l l considered improper for widows to remarry, although poor men were very often forced to marry widows because they were less expensive to get than g i r l s who had not married before. The custom of early marriage was widespread i n China; few people observed the provisions of the Kuomintang c i v i l code p r o h i b i t i n g marri-age of. women under sixteen and of men under eighteen. S i m i l a r l y , i t can be expected that, although the h i e r -a r c h i c a l order of the t r a d i t i o n a l family system was loosened, family relationships s t i l l adhered to the o l d pattern. The demand of the youths might create problems for the senior members of the family, but they were as reluctant to make concessions as the uounger generation. Pa Chin's Chia was an excellent portrayal of intergenerational c o n f l i c t s i n a t y p i c a l extended family. There seemed not much that the young people could do except to run away, as i n the case of the t h i r d brother i n the novel. However, i n the c i t i e s , at least, the husband-wife r e l a t i o n s h i p was more emphasized than before. Even i f i t was not e n t i r e l y based on outright romantic love and freedom of choice, i t i s true that the element of companionship was becoming more important i n marital relations (Levy, 1949: 301). In studying China, one has to always bear i n mind the 52 urban-rural dichotomy. While i t i s true that i n urban areas, changes in family patterns had set i n , the r u r a l areas pre-sented quite a d i f f e r e n t p i c t u r e . Lang's research pointed out that i n fact many t r a d i t i o n a l values and attitudes were s t i l l well preserved among peasants, even young peoples It was only i n places that wer^opened to Western influences that things were beginning to change. Long Bow V i l l a g e studied by Hinton (1966) was s t i l l very t r a d i t i o n a l , even as l a t e as 1948. The Type and Size of Family It has been said, before that the large extended family was never a common phenomenon i n t r a d i t i o n a l China; thus, i t cannot be argued that family type changed r a d i c a l l y from the t r a d i t i o n a l pattern during the "family revolution",. How-ever, studies do show that, during the period of the "family revolution", the conjugal family was more popular among the educated and those who were more exposed to foreign influences i n urban areas (see Table 3). Thus, Lang (1946) found that the conjugal family type was more frequent among the r e l a -t i v e l y w e l l - o f f i n d u s t r i a l workers of Shanghai, the most modern among the wage earners of China, than among the poorer workers of Peiping (Lang, 1946: 141). There were also more conjugal families and fewer j o i n t families among o f f i c i a l s , professionals TABLE 3 FAMILY TYPES AMONG TRADITION-BOUND AND MODERNIZED GROUPS IN PEIPING (adapted from Lang, ,1946) middle class upper class t r a d i t i o n - modern t r a d i t i o n - modern bound groups groups bound groups groups Number of families 171 320 103 107 Family type (per cent) conjugal 39% 56% 24% 65% stem 40% 30% 34% 24% joi n t 21% 14% 42% 11% 54 and teachers than among businessmen and landlords, as opposed to the o l d pattern of larger families as one moved up the s o c i a l ladder. New units also began to appear, such as o l d parents who l i v e d on t h e i r own af t e r t h e i r children got married. Both Levy and Lang observed that the desertion of o l d people became a problem during t h i s period. It must be remembered that t h i s pattern was only true for urban areas. Within the confine of t r a d i t i o n , r u r a l China went on more or less as before. In the c i t i e s , the r i s i n g cost of l i v i n g might make i t impractical for the i n d u s t r i a l workers to bring t h e i r parents, who l i v e d i n the country, to the c i t i e s . With t h e i r broadened experiences and economic independence, they might f i n d i t more d i f f i c u l t to toler a t e the parents' demands on them. With i n -creasing job opportunities for the younger people, the chia-chiahg inevitably l o s t some of his power i n decision-making. C o n f l i c t s between parents and children were unavoidable, and a natural d i v i s i o n resulted. Furthermore, a daughter-in-law who had a wage-paying job outside the home might get more defiant i f her mother-in-law required too much from'her. With the emphasis on husband-wife relationship, she was more confident that the husband would stand on her side. This also led to the preference of the conjugal family. 55 In r u r a l areas, however, the e x p l o i t a t i o n of the land was s t i l l the chief xource of l i v e l i h o o d ; therefore family-members, i f they could help i t , would rather stay together for mutual aid and benefit. With the gradual decline of the j o i n t family was the increasing number of stem family con-s i s t i n g of grandparents, parents and grandchildren. Provided that the grandparents were not too authoritarian toward t h e i r children, married sons would be quite happy to share a house-hold with them, e s p e c i a l l y i f they were r e t i r e d and could not make a l i v i n g by themselves e a s i l y . In the case that both husband and wife worked, they might even be glad that there were extra hands to help with the housework and look a f t e r the children. In a survey conducted i n t h i s period of time, while the j o i n t family was rejected almost unanimously, quite a number of informants doubted i f the Western type conjugal family would be ideal for China (see P'an, 1934). In conclusion, whereas the family types had not changed d r a s t i c a l l y i n the "family revolution", the conjugal family was getting increasingly popular as a family type, p a r t i c u -l a r l y among urban educated people. The t r a d i t i o n a l desire for numerous progeny c e r t a i n l y had changed very l i t t l e , i f at a l l (see Lang, 1946: 147-154). But i t can be said that, together with modernization and i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , people's attitudes 56 toward the family had changed among the younger generation. Loyalty toward the country, r e a l i z a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l goals or happiness, instead of the o l d values of absolute obedience toward the old, family duties and continuing the family l i n e , were becoming the emphases among the young educated c l a s s . 57 FOOTNOTES - CHAPTER 2 While scholars are unable to reach a general concensus on the existence of peasantry as a v a l i d concept despite the rapidly increasing number of peasant studies i n the s o c i a l sciences (see Shanin, 1971: 12), they have commonly agreed that peasants possess at least two major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . F i r s t , the farm family i s the basic unit of the multi-dimensional s o c i a l organization and the economic action i s c l o s e l y i n t e r -woven with family r e l a t i o n s ; second, land husbandry i s the main means of l i v e l i h o o d d i r e c t l y providing the major part of the consumption needs ( i b i d : 14-15). Following Saul's and Wood's d e f i n i t i o n , the term, "peasants", i s used here to ref e r to: "those whose ultimate security and subsistence l i e s i n t h e i r having c e r t a i n rights i n land and i n the labour of family members on the land, but who are involved, through rights and obligations, i n a wider economic system which includes the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of non-peasants" (Saul & Woods, 1971: 105.),. 2 The term "uterine.family" i s borrowed from . Wolf's study on peasant women (see Wolf, 1972). Before Wolf's i n s i g h t f u l study, the Chinese family has always been conceived of as a continuous descent group. However, the family i s conceived very d i f f e r e n t l y from a woman's viewpoint. In order to define the uterine family, I s h a l l quote Wolf at length: "With a female focus...we see the Chinese family not as a continuous l i n e stretching between the value horizons of past and future, but as a contemporary group that comes into existence out of one woman's need and i s held together insofar as she has the strength to do so, or, for that matter, the need to do so" (Wolf, 1972: 37). She goes on to say: "The uterine family has no ideology, no formal structure, and no public existence. It i s b u i l t out of sentiments and l o y a l -t i e s that die with i t s members, but i t i s no less r e a l for a l l that. The descent l i n e s of men are born and nourished i n the uterine families of women, and i t i s here that a male ideology that excludes women makes i t s accomodations with r e a l i t y . " ( i b i d ) . For d e t a i l of the relationships of land, resources and family size, see Taeuber (1970). 58 "Family revolution" was o r i g i n a l l y a term introduced i n the May Fourth period. However, for the present purpose, i t i s used very loosely here to refer to that period of time a f t e r the breakdown of the Ch'ing dynasty i n 1911 u n t i l the eve of the Communist takeover i n 1949. This period came under the rule of the Kuomintang government, and was known for i t s t r e -mendous i n s t a b i l i t y in i t s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l l i f e . As the following passages indicate, the ideology of the t r a d i t i o n a l family system also saw some d r a s t i c r e v i s i o n . 5Hsin-ch'inq-nien. Vol. 1, No. 5, quoted i n Lang (1946: 110). CHAPTER 3 THE MARRIAGE LAW OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC, 1950 Marriage arid Family in Liberated Areas before 1949 The promulgation of the Marriage Law in 1950 was not the f i r s t attempt of the Chinese Communist Party to eff e c t changes i n the Chinese family system. Even as early as the twenties and t h i r t i e s , various e f f o r t s had been made to ex-periment with new family and marriage reforms i n the Com-munist occupied areas i n the border regions. While information on the implementation of family reforms before 1950 i s scattered and there i s a r e a l lack of case material, from, the available information, i t i s apparent that d i f f e r e n t marriage regulations were put into e f f e c t . These early, regulations on marriage reforms provided the bas>is for the Marriage Law p o l i c y in 1950. Like the Marriage Law, they were not intended to provide a d e t a i l e d law covering a l l the problems pertaining to the family or marriage. The aim was, rather, to state the general p r i n c i p l e s of the new marriage system as opposed to that of the "feudal" system. It may be said that the CCP derived the basic ideas for these regulations, and l a t e r , the Marriage Law, from two major sources. By 1931, when the marriage regulations of 60 the Chinese S o v i e t R e p u b l i c was promulgated, the "family-r e v o l u t i o n " was w e l l underway. The p r i n c i p l e of freedom o f marriage between a man and a woman without p a r e n t a l i n t e r -f e r e n c e was the d e s i r e d p a t t e r n among i n t e l l e c t u a l s and educated people. In t h i s r e s p e c t , t h i s i n i t i a l l e g i s l a t i o n was s i m i l a r t o the Kuomintang f a m i l y law. However, i t d i f f e r e d from the Kuomintang C i v i l Code i n i t s d i r e c t and unequivocal a t t a c k on the " f e u d a l system o f marriage". The t r a d i t i o n a l f a m i l y system was to be a b o l i s h e d . Another source o f i n f l u e n c e came from emulation o f the S o v i e t Union. The Russian i n f l u e n c e was p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced i n the Marriage Law of 1950, s p e c i f i c a l l y i n i t s promulgation o f the s e r i o u s r o l e o f the f a m i l y f o r the b u i l d i n g up of a new s o c i a l i s t s o c i e t y (see A r t i c l e 8 ) . The impact o f the Russian model c o n t i n u e d t o be important i n the subsequent campaigns of implementing the Marriage Law a f t e r 1950. How the marriage p o l i c i e s i n the Communist based areas were a p p l i e d i n p r a c t i c e b e f o r e 1950 i s u n c e r t a i n . But the f a c t t h a t the r e g u l a t i o n s o f 1931 were changed i n 1934 i n c i -dates t h a t they were employed i n h a n d l i n g matrimonial cases q u i t e f r e q u e n t l y . The d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the CCP to r e v i s e the t r a d i t i o n a l system was a l s o c l e a r i n the promulgation o f the marriage law i n 1934, because by t h a t time, the c o l l a p s e o f 61 the Kiangsi Soviet was almost a certainty due to m i l i t a r y setbacks (see, for example, Schell & Esherick, 1972: 85-90). The vaipus subseqnent regulations enacted i n the border regions a f t e r the Long March further demonstrate the perse-verence of the CCP i n t h i s matter. Nevertheless, not a l l the regulations were written with the same f o r c e f u l tone. At the time of the United Fron against the invasion of Japan, there was a moderation of the marriage p o l i c y together with the loosening of land p o l i c y . For instance, the " a b o l i t i o n of the feudal marriage system", so d e f i n i t e in the regulations of 1941 and 1934, was softened to a marriage system "based on the p r i n c i p l e s of democracy and the actual circumstances" 2 pr e v a i l i n g i n the border areas. During t h i s period, there was a general concession to the United Front idea. But a l l these early regulations had l e f t t h e i r imprints on the Marri-age Law of 1950 (for d e t a i l , see Meijer, 1971: 54-68). The Scope and Purpose of the Marriage Law The Marriage Law came into being as the whole of China became " l i b e r a t e d " . The d e t a i l e d history of the dra f t was not clea r . It was f i r s t mentioned by Ch'en Shao-yu, the chairman of the Government Administrative Council on A p r i l 13, 1950 62 ( M e i j e r , 1971: 71). The Marriage Law was promulgated and put i n t o e f f e c t two weeks l a t e r , on May 1. Together w i t h l a n d reform and oth e r p o l i c i e s , the Marriage Law was to be an instrument f o r the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the Chinese s o c i e t y . 3 General Survey o f The Law F i r s t and foremost, the Law pr o c l a i m e d t h a t the a r b i -t r a r y and compulsory " f e u d a l " marriage system which was based on the s u p e r i o r i t y o f man over woman and which ignored the i n t e r e s t s o f the c h i l d r e n , was to be a b o l i s h e d ( A r t i c l e 1 ) . The "New Democratic" marriage system o f Communist China was to be based on f r e e c h o i c e o f p a r t n e r s , on monogamy, on equal r i g h t s of both sexes, and on the p r o t e c t i o n o f the l a w f u l i n t e r e s t s o f women and c h i l d r e n ( A r t i c l e 1 ) . A f t e r the promulgation o f the Marriage Law, polygamy, concubinage, c h i l d b e t r o t h a l , i n t e r f e r e n c e with the marriage o f widows and the e x a c t i o n o f money or g i f t s i n connec t i o n w i t h marriage would not be p e r m i t t e d ( A r t i c l e 2). I t i s c l e a r t h a t the Marriage Law aimed at p r o t e c t i n g the c o n j u g a l u n i t o f the o l d f a m i l y system, e s p e c i a l l y the p r i v i l e g e s and r i g h t s o f the woman. By p u t t i n g a s t o p on polygamy, i n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h marriage and the e x a c t i o n o f money or g i f t s f o r the wedding, the law i n e f f e c t attempted to d e s t r o y p a r e n t s ' d e c i s i o n s i n the matter o f marriage, thereby b r e a k i n g down, to a c e r t a i n 63 degree, the t r a d i t i o n a l h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f the family-system. With the f i n a n c i a l aspect taken out of the wedding, the man and woman were put oh an equal ground, so th a t the woman was not " s o l d " t o the groom's f a m i l y , so t o speak. At f i r s t g l a n c e , i t appears t h a t the Marriage Law aimed at d e s t r o y i n g completely once and f o r a l l the t r a d i t i o n a l f a m i l y and marriage systems. However, i t may be noted at t h i s p o i n t t h a t the f o r c e f u l d e c l a r a t i o n o f the f i r s t chapter o f the Law i s mis-l e a d i n g . While attempting t o a b o l i s h the o l d f e u d a l system was indeed the b a s i c o b j e c t i v e o f the Chinese Communists, c e r t a i n elements i n the t r a d i t i o n a l system, as w i l l be seen l a t e r , were i n f a c t r e t a i n e d and e l a b o r a t e d upon. T h i s p i e c e o f l e g i s l a t i o n i s d i v i d e d i n t o e i g h t s e c t i o n s , c o n s i s t i n g o f a t o t a l o f twenty-seven a r t i c l e s (see Appendix I I I f o r the E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n o f the Marriage Law). The f i r s t chapter examined above o u t l i n e d the g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s and d e s c r i b e d the " b a s i c s p i r i t " of the Law. Freedom of marriage was one of the fundamental requirements o f t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n . ^ C o n t r a c t i n g o f Marriage. Four a r t i c l e s are i n c l u d e d i n Chapter Two. But apart from A r t i c l e 3, which ensured t h a t marriage was to be based on the complete w i l l i n g n e s s o f both p a r t i e s , the r e s t of the chapter d e a l t w i t h the p r e r e q u i s i t e s 64 of marriage rather than marriage i t s e l f . Following previous marriage regulations, the decree that no compulsion or t h i r d person interference was allowed was repeated in A r t i c l e 3. The o r i g i n a l marriageable age of twenty for the man and eighteen for the woman had been retained ( A r t i c l e 4). However, follow-ing the law of the U.S.S.R., pr o h i b i t i o n of marriage between d i r e c t and l i n e a l blood r e l a t i v e s was introduced i n A r t i c l e 5 (see Meijer, 1972: 72). Marriage between c o l l a t e r a l s by blood was to be determined by l o c a l customs. Other prohibitions were medical reasons concerning diseases and physical defects of the i n d i v i d u a l s . The only formal requirement was that marriage be registered at the s u b d i s t r i c t (hsiang) people's government. If a l l the l e g a l conditions were f u l f i l l e d , then a marriage c e r t i f i c a t e would be issued ( A r t i c l e 6). The rea-son given by the Chinese leadership for r e g i s t e r i n g marriages was that i t served to eliminate the complications inherent i n the o l d feudal marriage system. The complex procedures involved in arranged marriage by elders of two families regardless of the feelings of the couple, and the "feudal" elements of the "business" aspect of a marriage, such as obtaining bride price, exchange of g i f t s , etc., were to be substituted by the simple procedure of r e g i s t r a t i o n of the l o c a l government o f f i c e . The actual aim was, in fact, to 65 b r i n g the procedure o f marriage and care o f the f a m i l y p a r t i a l l y under the c o n t r o l o f the government, thereby r e d u c i n g p a r e n t a l c o n t r o l i n the matter o f marriage. In -t h i s r e s p e c t , the Marriage Law echoed the f a m i l y law of the Kuomintang government, i n t h a t both wanted t o t r a n s f e r the c o n t r o l o f marriage from parents to the s t a t e by the use of p o l i t i c a l power. Ri g h t s and Duti e s o f Husband and Wife. A c c o r d i n g t o the Chinese Communist l e a d e r s h i p , t h i s s e c t i o n was to a s c e r -t a i n t h a t husband and wi f e would enjoy equal s t a t u s i n the home both i n managing f a m i l y p r o p e r t y and i n i n h e r i t i n g each o t h e r ' s p r o p e r t y . In g r a n t i n g a woman the r i g h t to i n h e r i t her husband's p r o p e r t y ( A r t i c l e 1 2 ) , the Law c h a l l e n g e d the o l d i d e o l o g y o f p a t r i a r c h y and patrimony, thus b r e a k i n g down the t r a d i t i o n a l h i e r a r c h y o f the extended f a m i l y i n which women were r u l e d out i n i n h e r i t a n c e . Furthermore, both husband and wif e were t o enjoy e q u a l i t y i n the ch o i c e o f occ u p a t i o n and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s ( A r t i c l e 9 ) . In r e a l i t y , the Law urged women to p a r t i c i p a t e i n p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s as w e l l . A r t i c l e 1 1 gave a woman the r i g h t t o r e t a i n her own f a m i l y name. T h i s d i f f e r e d from the Kuomintang C i v i l Code i n tha t the w i f e was a b l e t o p r e f i x her name to th a t o f her hus-band i n the Kuomintang law. The p r o v i s i o n o f the Communist 6 6 law was probably modelled a f t e r the Russian law. But the most important p r o v i s i o n of the Marriage Law, again d e r i v e d o from the Russian, was A r t i c l e 8, which s t a t e d t h a t "husband and w i f e are i n duty to l o v e , r e s p e c t , a s s i s t , and look a f t e r each other, to l i v e i n harmony, to engage i n p r o d u c t i o n , to  care f o r the c h i l d r e n , and to s t r i v e j o i n t l y f o r the w e l f a r e  of the f a m i l y and f o r the b u i l d i n g up of a new s o c i e t y " (my emphases). T h i s immediately p l a c e d the f a m i l y i n the context of the s o c i e t y , and i n t r o d u c e d the new i d e a of the f a m i l y as a s o c i a l i s t c e l l , which was absent i n the Kuomintang C i v i l Code. Marriage and the f a m i l y d i d not o n l y operate i n the i n t e r e s t o f the f a m i l y members, but more important, they served a d e f i n i t e f u n c t i o n i n the l a r g e r s o c i e t y , namely, the " b u i l d i n g up of a new s o c i e t y " or the development and/or modernization of the country. The harmonious r e l a t i o n s h i p between husband and w i f e was s t r e s s e d . Presumably, t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p was o n l y p o s s i b l e i f t h e r e was f r e e c h o i c e i n marriage p a r t n e r s . R e l a t i o n s between Parents and C h i l d r e n . From the f o r e -g o i n g d i s c u s s i o n on the t r a d i t i o n a l f a m i l y system, i t i s noted t h a t i n t r a d i t i o n a l l e g a l codes, the parents enjoyed e x c l u s i v e r i g h t s over the c h i l d r e n . The parents, e s p e c i a l l y the f a t h e r , c o u l d ask f o r the death sentence of h i s c h i l d r e n i f they were 67 u n f i l i a l (Chu, 1965). Although a c c o r d i n g to the Kuomintang f a m i l y law, the parents c o u l d no longer s t i p u l a t e the death sentence of the c h i l d r e n , parents c o u l d s t i l l e x e r c i s e a g r e a t amount of power over t h e i r c h i l d r e n . The main purpose of t h i s chapter of the Marriage Law, however, was to p r o t e c t the r i g h t s and p r i v i l e g e s of the c h i l d ; i n f a n t i c i d e , such as by drowning, was i n t r o d u c e d i n t o the c r i m i n a l code. While such " f e u d a l terminology as " f i l i a l p i e t y " was not employed i n the Marriage Law, the b a s i c idea had been r e t a i n e d . In d i s m i s s i n g the word " f i l i a l " , the Law took the formal h i e r -a r c h i c a l aspect out of the p a r e n t - c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p . But the n o t i o n s o f r e s p e c t and r e c i p r o c i t y were not l e s s important f o r a l l t h a t , because the Law q u i t e f l a t l y • s t a t e d t h a t "the c h i l d -ren have the duty to look a f t e r and to a s s i s t t h e i r p a r e n t s " , and t h a t " n e i t h e r the parents and the c h i l d r e n s h a l l m a l t r e a t or d e s e r t one another" ( A r t i c l e 13). Thus, even though the p r i m a r i l y aim of the Law was t o p r o t e c t the c o n j u g a l u n i t of the f a m i l y , i t c o u l d be i n t e r p r e t e d to i n c l u d e the l a r g e r f a m i l y u n i t . Taking i n t o account the low p o s i t i o n of women and c h i l d -ren born of i l l i c i t a f f a i r s , the Law e x p l i c i t l y gave i l l e g i t i -mate c h i l d ( r e n ) l e g a l s t a t u s and p r o t e c t i o n i n the s o c i e t y . In so doing, the Chinese Communists hoped to remove the stigma 68 a t t a c h e d to unmarried mother and i l l e g i t i m a t e c h i l d r e n i n t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t y . The custody o f the c h i l d was to be the d e c i s i o n o f the p a r e n t s . In the case where the p o s s i b i l i t y o f marriage was not present, the n a t u r a l f a t h e r was to r e s -p o n s i b l e , i n p a r t o r i n f u l l , f o r the maintenance and educ a t i o n of the c h i l d ( A r t i c l e 15). D i v o r c e . In t r a d i t i o n a l China a woman was not g i v e n the r i g h t t o d i v o r c e her husband, whereas t h e r e were at l e a s t seven main reasons on the ground o f which her husband c o u l d e f f e c t a ° d i v o r c e . Both the Kuomintang f a m i l y law and the Marriage Law gave a woman the r i g h t t o d i v o r c e her husband. The Communist law c o n t a i n s a mixture o f e a r l i e r l e g i s l a t i o n from the border r e g i o n s and some new i d e a s . D i v o r c e might be g r a n t e d i f both p a r t i e s d e s i r e d i t . In the case where o n l y one p a r t y wished to o b t a i n a d i v o r c e , i t was more complicated. To s t a r t w i t h , the p a r t i e s had to be present at the s u b d i s t r i c t people's government, and a f i r s t attempt would be made to r e c o n c i l i a t e them. When mediation f a i l e d , the case would be r e f e r r e d t o the d i s t r i c t o r c i t y people's c o u r t f o r d e c i s i o n , and appeal to the people's c o u r t by e i t h e r p a r t y must not be o b s t r u c t e d . Again, at the d i s t r i c t o r c i t y l e v e l , mediation was c a r r i e d out. I t was o n l y when r e c o n c i l i a t i o n was not p o s s i b l e t h a t a d i v o r c e might be gran t e d ( A r t i c l e 17). The r a t i o n a l e o f 69 freedom o f d i v o r c e was q u i t e c l e a r l y s t a t e d i n an o u t l i n e i s s u e d by the N a t i o n a l Committee f o r the Thorough Implemen-t a t i o n o f the Marriage Law. Ac c o r d i n g t o t h i s o u t l i n e , freedom o f marriage i n c l u d e d freedom i n choosing marriage p a r t n e r s and i n d i v o r c e , because the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f a "democratic" and u n i t e d f a m i l y c o u l d o n l y be based on a marriage i n which both p a r t n e r s were completely w i l l i n g . Hence, the Law p r o v i d e d the a l t e r n a t i v e f o r t e r m i n a t i n g a marriage which was not c o n t r a c t e d i n accordance w i t h t h i s p r i n c i p l e . I t a l s o served t o p r o t e c t e q u a l i t y o f the sexes, so t h a t they c o u l d l i v e i n harmony and mutual r e s p e c t . How-ever, the o u t l i n e a s s e r t e d t h a t t h i s should not be taken to mean t h a t the Marriage Law promoted and encouraged d i v o r c e . In e f f e c t i n g a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , the couple was g i v e n an oppor-t u n i t y to r e c o n s i d e r t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p , so th a t they would not o verlook the r e a l meaning o f marriage, and t h a t o f d i v o r c e . At the same time, f o r those who f e l t estranged i n such a r e -l a t i o n s h i p , the Marriage Law enabled them to seek l e g a l r e l e a s e . For those who had been f o r c e d i n t o marriage by the f e u d a l marriage system, d i v o r c e gave them a way to pursue t h e i r own freedom and happiness.*'"'*" In view o f the treatment women r e c e i v e d i n the past, they were g i v e n b e t t e r p r o t e c t i o n by the Law; thus, i t was s t i p u l a t e d t h a t "the husband s h a l l not apply f o r 70 a d i v o r c e when h i s w i f e i s wit h c h i l d " ( A r t i c l e 18). Army pe r s o n n e l were governed by s p e c i a l r e g u l a t i o n s . The one r e s t r i c t i o n on the woman's freedom t o apply f o r a d i v o r c e was when her husband was a member of the R e v o l u t i o n a r y Army on a c t i v e s e r v i c e . D i v o r c e would o n l y be gr a n t e d t o the spouse of a s o l d i e r who had not been i n c o n t a c t w i t h h i s (or her) f a m i l y f o r over two years ( A r t i c l e 19). Thus, at l e a s t f o r the f i r s t few years a f t e r the promulgation o f the Marriage Law, the democratic f a m i l y based on harmony and the new s o c i a l m o r a l i t y was subordinate t o the morale of the armed f o r c e s . Support and Educat i o n o f C h i l d r e n a f t e r D i v o r c e . In view o f the f a c t t h a t the mother l o s t her c l a i m s t o her c h i l d -ren on d i v o r c e i n t r a d i t i o n a l times, the Marriage Law a s s e r t e d that "the b l o o d t i e s between parents and c h i l d r e n do not end wi t h the d i v o r c e o f the p a r e n t s . No matter whether the f a t h e r or mother a c t s as guardian o f the c h i l d or c h i l d r e n , they s t i l l remain the c h i l d or c h i l d r e n o f both p a r t i e s " ( A r t i c l e 20). Only one g e n e r a l r u l e was g i v e n f o r the custody o f the c h i l d , t h a t i s , the mother might have custody o f a c h i l d s t i l l b e i n g nursed. I f an agreement r e g a r d i n g custody c o u l d not be reached, then the government might i n t e r v e n e " i n accordance w i t h the • best i n t e r e s t s o f the c h i l d " ( A r t i c l e 20). The Law ensured that the c h i l d r e n were p r o v i d e d f o r ec o n o m i c a l l y i n the event 71 of d i v o r c e between the pa r e n t s . When the c h i l d r e n were not s a t i s f i e d w i t h the arrangements by the parents, they had the r i g h t s t o request e i t h e r parent t o i n c r e a s e the amount f i x e d by agreements or by j u d i c i a l d e c i s i o n ( A r t i c l e 21). Here, again, t h e r e was an attempt t o break down the a s c r i p t i v e aspects o f f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s i n the o l d system. C h i l d r e n ' s r i g h t s t o b a r g a i n w i t h the parents, i f they f e l t t h a t they were not j u s t l y t r e a t e d , were e x p l i c i t l y r e c o g n i z e d by the Law. U s u a l l y , the husband, b e i n g the main p r o v i d e r o f the fa m i l y , was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the maintenance and educa t i o n o f the c h i l d r e n even a f t e r d i v o r c e . He c o u l d o n l y be r e l i e v e d from t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i f the wife, r e m a r r i e d and her new husband was w i l l i n g to p r o v i d e f o r the s t e p - c h i l d r e n ( A r t i c l e 22). P r o p e r t y and Maintenance a f t e r D i v o r c e . Chapter 7 o f the Marriage Law aimed p a r t i c u l a r l y at p r o t e c t i n g the p r i v i -leges of women and c h i l d r e n , so that t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d would be p r o t e c t e d a f t e r the s e p a r a t i o n of the spouses. A f t e r d i -vorce, the woman c o u l d r e t a i n the p r o p e r t y which she possessed p r i o r to her marriage, the oth e r p r o p e r t i e s b e i n g d i v i d e d be-tween the spouses by agreement. I f t h i s f a i l e d , then the cour t would render a d e c i s i o n on the a c t u a l c o n d i t i o n s o f the case. While the Law d i d not make i t e x p l i c i t , i t was 72 i m p l i e d t h a t the husband was to be r e s p o n s i b l e i n p a r t f o r the l i v e l i h o o d of the woman and c h i l d r e n because he was nor-m a l l y i n a b e t t e r economic p o s i t i o n . In the case where the p r o p e r t y a l l o c a t e d to the w i f e and c h i l d r e n was s u f f i c i e n t f o r the maintenance and education of the c h i l d r e n , however, he might be exempted from b e a r i n g f u r t h e r such c o s t s ( A r t i c l e 23). Debts i n c u r r e d t o g e t h e r p r i o r t o d i v o r c e was to be p a i d j o i n t l y by the husband and w i f e , but a f t e r d i v o r c e , t h i s be-came the separate r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of the i n d i v i d u a l i n ques-t i o n . I f the p r o p e r t y was not s u f f i c i e n t to cover the debts i n c u r r e d j o i n t l y , then the husband was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i t ( A r t i c l e 24). On the other hand, i f e i t h e r p a r t y had not remarried and had d i f f i c u l t i e s i n maintenance, the Law suggested t h a t the other p a r t y should o f f e r a s s i s t a n c e , and i f an agree-ment c o u l d not be reached as to the method and d u r a t i o n of such a s s i s t a n c e , again the government might s t e p i n and render a d e c i s i o n ( A r t i c l e 25). I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that the c o u r t was g i v e n a s p e c i f i c r o l e to p l a y i n the f i n a n c i a l arrangements on d i v o r c e , thereby g a i n i n g d i r e c t c o n t r o l and s u p e r v i s i o n i n such matters. The r o l e of f a m i l y e l d e r s and parents i n d i v o r c e was completely erased. The Chinese l e a d e r -s h i p f u r t h e r p o i n t e d out t h a t d e c i s i o n r e g a r d i n g the main-tenance o f p r o p e r t y a f t e r d i v o r c e should be advantageous to the 73 development of p r o d u c t i o n , and should be i n accordance w i t h 12 the establishment of the n a t i o n a l economy, again d e f i n i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the f a m i l y and the s t a t e , p l a c i n g the f a m i l y i n the context of the l a r g e r s o c i e t y . Bylaws. The p r o v i s i o n i n A r t i c l e 26 brought the c r i m i n a l code i n t o the Marriage Law. In doing t h i s , the CCP,to some extent, expressed i t s r e s o l u t i o n i n e f f e c t i n g changes regard-in g the marriage and f a m i l y i n s t i t u t i o n s i n China. The pro-v i s i o n immediately f o l l o w i n g , however, seemed t o c o n t r a d i c t t h i s u n e q u i v o c a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the Chinese l e a d e r s h i p . ' The n a t i o n a l m i n o r i t i e s were p e r m i t t e d to modify the Law i n conformity w i t h the a c t u a l c o n d i t i o n s p r e v a i l i n g i n these areas r e g a r d i n g marriage ( A r t i c l e 27). In the areas where la n d reform and o t h e r movements had to be i n t r o d u c e d , the CCP was a f r a i d t h a t d r a s t i c r e v i s i o n of the f a m i l y system might cause f u r t h e r d i s t u r b a n c e . Thus i t i s c l e a r t h a t the Chinese government d i d have r e s e r v a t i o n s about s e v e r e l y a t t a c k -i n g the o l d f a m i l y system. The survey of the Law i n the f o r e -g o i ng s e c t i o n s a l s o r e v e a l s the r e t e n t i o n of c e r t a i n t r a d i -t i o n a l elements and ideas i n t r o d u c e d d u r i n g t h e " f a m i l y revo-l u t i o n " i n t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n on f a m i l y and marriage reform. 74 The Scope of the Law The review of the Marriage Law above g i v e s the i n i t i a l impression t h a t the Law of 1950 i s merely an amalgam of p r e v i o u s experiences of marriage l e g i s l a t i o n i n l i b e r a t e d areas b e f o r e 1949, p l u s a number of new ideas borrowed mainly from the U.S.S.R. and to a l e s s e r extent from the West. The document i t s e l f i s extremely b r i e f and g e n e r a l . The b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s can be summarized i n two phrases, namely, freedom o f marriage, and e q u a l i t y of the sexes. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t d e s p i t e d i f f e r e n t p o l i c i e s r e g a r d i n g f a m i l y reforms i n China i n sub-sequent y e a r s , the Marriage Law has never been r e v i s e d . For i n s t a n c e , when b i r t h c o n t r o l became the p o l i c y from 1957 on-wards, marriage p o l i c y was a l s o a f f e c t e d . Late marriages were promoted, and the Chinese l e a d e r s h i p urged the young people to 13 marry a f t e r t w e n t y - f i v e years o f age. T h i s c r e a t e d n a t i o n -wide apprehension, and people were a f r a i d t h a t the Marriage Law would be r e v i s e d . D i f f e r e n t reasons, p r i m a r i l y medical ones, 14 were g i v e n f o r the harm of e a r l y marriages. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the Marriage Law had not been changed. The l e g a l marriageable age of eighteen f o r women and twenty f o r men was i n t e r p r e t e d as the minimum age f o r marriage, but young people were a d v i s e d to postpone m a r r i a g e . f o r the sake o f t h e i r h e a l t h and w e l f a r e a f t e r marriage. In d i s c u s s i n g the purpose or the g o a l of the 75 Marriage Law, we are confronted w i t h the problem of i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n . The Marriage Law i s not a s t a t i c piece of l e g i s l a t i o n w i t h a set of absolute r u l e s which the masses can f o l l o w un-q u e s t i o n i n g l y . I t i s used by the Chinese l e a d e r s h i p as an instrument, the a p p l i c a t i o n of which i s subject to d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s depending upon the d i f f e r e n t phases the Commu-n i s t r e v o l u t i o n or the development of the s o c i e t y are consider-ed to be i n . The dimension of time i s thus c r u c i a l to the understanding of the Law. The changing concepts of the Marriage Law do not operate w i t h i n a vacuum, but must be viewed w i t h i n the context of the p o l i t i c a l environment at a s p e c i f i c time span. In s p i t e of t h i s , c e r t a i n themes of the Law are d i s -c e r n i b l e . In one of Mao's most famous a r t i c l e s , The F o l l i s h Old Man  Who Removed The M o u n t a i n s , ^ Mao s t a t e d two obstacles which prevented China's development - "today, two b i g mountains l i e l i k e a dead weight on the Chinese people. One i s i m p e r i a l i s m , the other i s feudalism". Imperialism i s an e x t e r n a l f o r c e exerted from the o u t s i d e . Feudalism, on the other hand, i s inherent i n the Chinese s o c i a l f a b r i c . The f a m i l y organiza-t i o n , being a c e n t r a l and c l o s e - k n i t k i n s h i p u n i t i n t r a d i t i o n a l China, has always been the t r a n s m i t t e r and enforcer of " f e u d a l -ism", namely, the Confucian e t h i c through the process of so-76 cialization. In a country which aims at effecting rapid social change and modernization, and in which the direction of change is planned and controlled by the government, the family must not be allowed to come between the people and the state. More-over, the values of self-abnegation for the benefit and welfare of the family group must not interfere with his loyalty to the state. Since the family was traditionally the centre of edu-cation and socializing agent of the individual, i t is also one of the most resistant elements in the new society. Hence, the heavy emphasis the CCP placed on the Marriage Law and i t s proper enforcement is not an exaggerated one. The Marriage Law is a consciously designed piece of legislation to loosen traditional family ties, and eventually the values associated with the family. By giving equal rights to the husband and wife in the management and inheritance of family property, the Marri-age Law intends to break down the economic base of the tradi-tional patriarchal family system. Indeed, the stipulation of equal access of both spouses to family property threatens the survival of the traditional extended family. However, the Marriage Law is not as "radical" as i t may appear at f i r s t glance. As the survey of the Law indicates, certain "conservative" elements in the old system are preserved. While the Chinese leadership aims at the abolition of the 77 marriage system, m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s are not d i s s o l v e d ; indeed, the f a m i l y has been r e t a i n e d as a b a s i c u n i t i n the s o c i e t y . But the nature o f the f a m i l y , as appeared i n the Law, i s some~ what changed. In a s o c i a l i s t economy, the f a m i l y i s i n e f f e c t a c o o p e r a t i v e c e l l working toward the g o a l of p r o d u c t i o n f o r the s t a t e , r a t h e r than f o r i t s own ex t e n s i o n and expansion. I n t e r e s t i n and l o y a l t y t o the s t a t e , then, must come b e f o r e those towards the f a m i l y . To use the Communist terminology, the i n d i v i d u a l s must be " l i b e r a t e d " from the c o n f i n e o f the f a m i l y b e f o r e they can t u r n to working r e a d i l y f o r the s o c i e t y . The p a t h o l o g i c a l elements i n the t r a d i t i o n a l system, such as compulsion i n marriage, o p p r e s s i o n d f women (see A r t i c l e 1 o f the Marriage Law, f o r example) are s e l e c t e d t o p a i n t a grim p i c t u r e o f the f e u d a l s o c i e t y , and to g i v e the young people and women, the t r a d i t i o n a l l y most oppressed groups, the impetus to f i g h t f o r a s o c i e t y based on democracy and harmony. In a d d i t i o n , women must be emancipated from the bondage of the home i n order to p a r t i c i p a t e f u l l y i n p r o d u c t i o n , and t h i s can o n l y be done by f i r s t g i v i n g them l e g a l s t a t u s and r i g h t s equal t o those o f men. T h i s , then, i s the g o a l o f the Marriage Law. But r e t u r n -i n g t o the argument above, w h i l e t h e r e are c e r t a i n themes t h a t are constant, the Marriage Law i s not an unchanged s e t o f r u l e s -78 I t must be regarded both as a s t i m u l u s as w e l l as a t o o l f o r change. Moreover, i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s do not o n l y change because of changes i n other areas; meaning of the Marriage Law i t s e l f s h i f t s and serves to i n f l u e n c e changes i n o t h e r s e c t o r s of s o c i e t y . I t i s used by the CCP both as a t o o l t o f a c i l i t a t e o t h e r s o c i a l t r a n s i t i o n s and to serve as a guide to o t h e r movements. Thus, the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Law l i e s not so much i n the f a c t t h a t i t serves as a method of s o l v i n g d i s p u t e s a r i s i n g out of marriage. More important, i t f u n c t i o n s as a means to change thought, to d i s c a r d o l d v a l u e s and to c r e a t e new ones. I t serves as a means o f g u i d i n g people's values i n the d e s i r e d p o l i t i c a l d i r e c t i o n , and at the same time a way o f t r a n s m i t t i n g the new s o c i a l i s t i d e o l o g y . The Marriage Law, then, i s not a p i e c e of document t h a t i s , once promulgated, kept i n the drawer of the o f f i c a l c a b i n e t . I t i s something t h a t i s a p p l i e d c o n s t a n t l y i n p r a c t i c e . And i t i s f o r t h i s reason t h a t the CCP has l a i d so much emphasis on i t s proper and constant implementation. 79 FOOTNOTES - CHAPTER 3 ''"For example, Marriage R e g u l a t i o n s o f the Chinese S o v i e t R e p u b l i c , December 1, 1931 (see Appendix I ) ; Marriage Law o f the Chinese S o v i e t R e p u b l i c , A p r i l 8, 1934 (see Appendix I I ) ; Marriage R e g u l a t i o n s o f the Border Area of Shensi, Kansu and Ni n g h s i a , A p r i l 4, 1939; Rev i s e d P r o v i s i o n a l Marriage Regu-l a t i o n s o f the Shen-kan-ning Border Area, March 20, 1944; Marriage R e g u l a t i o n o f the Border Area o f Shansi, Ch'ahar, and Hopei, February 4, 1943; e t c . (see M e i j e r , 1971: 56, 285-293 ). 2 Marriage R e g u l a t i o n s o f the Shensi, Kansu, N i n g h s i a Border Area, A r t i c l e 1 (see M e i j e r , 197.1: 285). 3 Past tense i s used f o r the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n because, even though . the Marriage Law i t s e l f has bever been r e v i s e d s i n c e 1950, some o f the p r o v i s i o n s are no longer a p p l i e d . S i m i l a r l y , some of the terminology are a l s o a b s o l e t e . For example, the Chinese do not r e f e r to the marriage system i n China today as "the New Democratic marriage system". 4 See " O u t l i n e o f the Marriage Law implementation propa-ganda" i n Kuan che hu n - y i n - f a yun-tung t i chung-yao-wen-chien (Important documents o f the Marriage Law implementation) (Peking: Jen min ch'u pan she, 1953), p. 12. ^Shih L i a n g , "The s p i r i t o f the Marriage Law", Kuang-ming  j i h - p a o , Peking, A p r i l 16, 1950, r e p r i n t e d i n Chung-hua j e n -min kung-ho-kuo h u n - y i n - f a hsueh-hsi shou-ts'e (Study guide to the Marriage Law of the Chinese People's R e p u b l i c ) (Shang-h a i : Wen kung shu t i e n , 1951), p. 18. 6 I b i d , p. 18-19. 7 See A r t i c l e 7 of the"Marriage Law of the U.S.S.R." i n Chung-hua jen-min kung-ho-kuo h u n - y i n - f a hsueh-hsi shou-ts'e, op. e r t . , p. 77. g See A r t i c l e 1, i b i d , p. 76. 9 Shih L i a n g , "The s p i r i t o f the Marriage Law", op_. e r t . , p. 19. 80 " O u t l i n e o f the Marriage Law implementation propaganda" i - n Kuan che hun- y i n - f a yun-tung t i chung-yao-wen-chien, op. c i t . , p. 13. U I b i d . 12 Shih Liang, "The s p i r i t o f the Marriage Law", op_. c i t • , p. 19. 13 In an a r t i c l e , "When i s the b e s t age t o get married?", Kung-jen j i h - p a o , August 4, 1962 (URI C l i p p i n g s ) , women were a d v i s e d not to get married u n t i l twenty-four or t w e n t y - f i v e . 14 For example, " D i s c u s s i n g the q u e s t i o n o f marriageable age from the p h y s i o l o g i c a l viewpoint", Rung-jen j i h - p a o , Novermber 25, 1962 (URI C l i p p i n g s ) ; "My view on the q u e s t i o n s of marriage, l o v e , and p r o c r e a t i o n o f young people", Chung-kuo ch'ing-nien-pao, J u l y 21, 1962 (URI C l i p p i n g s ) ; and "Concerning the qu e s t i o n s o f marriageable age and p r o c r e a -t i o n " , Chung-kuo fu-nft, August, 1962 (URI C l i p p i n g s ) . "^See S e l e c t e d Works o f Mao Tse-tung (Peking: F o r e i g n Languages Press, 1967), V o l . 3, p. 271-274. 1 6 I b i d , p. 272. 81 CHAPTER 4 THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MARRIAGE LAW, 1950-1953 Introduction The "family revolution", so prominent a movement among the urban i n t e l l e c t u a l s , had l i t t l e impact upon China as a whole. The C i v i l Code of the Kuomintang government was a paper law which had hardly been enforced i n pract i c e . In the case of the Marriage Law, however, deliberate attempts were made by the Chinese Communist Party to ensure i t s proper implementation from the grass-root l e v e l . Apart from the i n i t i a l implementation a f t e r the promulgation of the Law, two major campaigns were c a r r i e d out for implementing t h i s p o l i c y . However, whereas Madian argued i n her thesis that a f t e r 1953, there was only "passing mention of the law i n the Communist press" (Madian, 1962: v i i ) , my own findings from studying the Chinese press point to the contrary. To be sure, there were only two chief movements i n enforcing the Law i n which the Central Government played an active r o l e . Up to 1953, the d i r e c t i v e s were issued from Peking to the p r o v i n c i a l governments. As economic and other development became more important to the Central Government, the imple-mentation of the Marriage Law gradually ceased to be an issue 82 of national attention. As the p r o v i n c i a l and d i s t r i c t govern-ments became better organized, they began to take on duties without having to wait for orders from Peking."*" After the Marriage Law campaign i n 1953, the l o c a l governments assumed the task of enforcing the Law according to t h e i r s p e c i f i c needs. Propaganda and implementation of the Law were considered the 2 constant duty of the l o c a l people's governments. Since the f i r s t three years were most consequential i n introducing the new marriage and family reforms under Communist rule, the im-plementation i n these beginning years w i l l be examined i n depth here. The Promulgation of the Law and Its I n i t i a l Implementation The promulgation of the Marriage Law was accompanied by numerous statements of o f f i c i a l endorsement. After the i s s u -ance of the notice of promulgation by Chairman Mao on A p r i l 30, 1950, a d i r e c t i v e was issued by the Central Committee of the CCP to a l l party and committee members ordering them to p u b l i -3 cize and explain the Marriage Law to the masses. It noted that since many lower cadres were deeply influenced by feudal ideas, the educational aspect of the Marriage Law propaganda was important. Systematic persuasion and education of the lower l e v e l o f f i c i a l s must be stressed i n implementing the Law. The purpose of t h i s campaign was to rais e the " p o l i t i c a l " 83 consciousness" of party members and the masses, so that i n time they would stand up to oppose the feudal marriage system and to practise and enforce the New Democratic marriage system. On the same day, a j o i n t c i r c u l a r was issued by the Government Administrative Council, the Youth Corps and the Women's League to the l o c a l people's agencies. The general ideas of t h i s notice was s i m i l a r to the afore-mentioned d i r e c t i v e , but i t was more s p e c i f i c as to how the implementation was to take place. Two broad guidelines were given to l o c a l cadres and groups which were to a s s i s t the implementation campaign: (1) Go deeply into the masses and carry out the task of large scale propaganda education. Employ posters, broadcasts, discussions and a l l kinds of c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s i n d i f f e r e n t forms to educate the masses and to seriously eliminate feudal thoughts. Under-stand the re a l meaning of the New Democratic p o l i c y . Uphold the new morality, so that the establishment of the New Democratic family becomes the conscious and w i l l i n g attempt of the masses. (2) A s s i s t the l o c a l people's government i n carrying out the Marriage Law. Up to the present time, many j u d i c i a l organizations and d i s t r i c t cadres s t i l l make mistakes i n handling matrimonial cases. If these cases are overlooked or postponed, women's requests for divorce w i l l be delayed. Special attention should be paid to helping v i l l a g e cadres. Correctly handle p o l i c i e s regarding marital questions so as to r e l i e v e people's sufferings from these questions. The notice also stated that implementing the Marriage Law would bea long and complex task. Thus, cooperation among the d i f f e -rent organizations was advised. Systematic propaganda and 84 education was to proceed according to the concrete situations g of d i f f e r e n t l o c a l i t i e s . In a speech given before the promulgation of the Law, the Minister of Ju s t i c e , Shih Liang, came up with more or less the same rules. She pointed out that the Marriage Law campaign was a revolutionary one. It should f i r s t be approached from the educational aspect. Different organizations and groups, p a r t i c u l a r l y women's groups, were to a s s i s t the l o c a l and c i t y people's governments i n resolving matrimonial and f a m i l i a l con-f l i c t s . Disputes must be brought to court to be handled by 7 q u a l i f i e d personnel. From these notices, d i r e c t i v e s and speeches, i t i s p l a i n that t h i s i n i t i a l implementation was directed not so much to-ward the masses than toward the lower l e v e l cadres and o f f i -c i a l s , whose " p o l i t i c a l consciousness" was presumably lower. It was an e f f o r t to ef f e c t p o l i t i c a l indoctrination among these people, rather than one aiming to break down the t r a d i t i o n a l family system per se. Despite the f o r c e f u l tones of the Marriage Law and i t s accompanying d i r e c t i v e s , the guidelines given for i t s implementation in 1950 were at best general (see p. 83 ). Cadres and l o c a l o f f i c i a l s were given a great amount of f l e x i b i l i t y i n handling f a m i l i a l and marital problems according to the s p e c i f i c circumstances of the in d i v i d u a l cases. 85 Throughout these o f f i c i a l documents, persuasion and education were stressed. The constant reference to the "educational aspect" of the campaign indicates that the Chinese leadership d i d not r e a l l y expect mass conformity to the new marriage system. The idea was to introduce t h i s new form of marriage • and family i n s t i t u t i o n to the people. Indeed, the Minister of the Department of Interior, Hs.ieh Chueh-tsai, quite ex-•v p l i c i t l y stated: The Marriage Law, once promulgated, cannot be ex-pected to see unobstructed enforcement. China i s a very ancient society with many remnants of-bad customs of feudalism s t i l l e x i s t i n g strongly i n not a few places.** When Shih Liang talked about the revolutionary nature of the Marriage Law campaign, perhaps she was not r e f e r r i n g so much to the concept of the new marriage reform as much as to'..the fact that t h i s was the f i r s t time i n Chinese history that the Chinese government d i d make an e f f o r t to enforce i t . In many ways, the Marriage Law was an extension of the"family revolution" which began at turn of the century. However, the Communist leader-ship d i f f e r e d from the Kuomintang government i n one major respect. Under the Communist regime, the Law was not a paper law. The CCP made a d e f i n i t e attempt to spread the new marriage concept to a wider proportion of the population. Apart from using the Marriage Law as a t o o l for p o l i t i c a l indoctrination 8 6 of the cadres and o f f i c i a l s , one of the chief purposes of the i n i t i a l implementation was to urge people to bring family d i s -putes to court and to r e g i s t e r marriages by the use of p o l i t i -c a l and l e g a l power so that the family could come under the supervision of the state. Although the campaign i n 1 9 5 0 was not a d i r e c t attack on ce r t a i n members of the o l d family organi-zation per se, the Chinese leadership wished to break down or at least play down the authority of the chia-chiang by trans-f e r r i n g his decisions regarding marriage and divorce to the government. Of course, the Chinese leaders recognized the d i f f i c u l t y of e f f e c t i n g immediate changes, but they were optimistic that by propaganda and education, the i n s t i t u t i o n a -l i z a t i o n of the new marriage and family systems would even-t u a l l y come about. During t h i s period, the increasing divorce rate was taken as a measure of the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of the feudal marriage system. A report released by the people's court i n Shanghai noted a steady increase of marital cases among c i v i l cases. According to t h i s report, 21.57o of a l l c i v i l cases ^handled between January and March i n 1 9 5 0 were marital cases, as com-pared to 1 8 . 6 % between August and December, 1 9 4 9 . Among them, 8 0 % were i n i t i a t e d by women (see Table 4 ) . These figures were used by the government as an ind i c a t i o n of the oppression of 87 TABLE 4 TABULATION OF SHANGHAI CIVIL CASES A p r i l 1 - A p r i l 15, 1950 (Adapted from Chung-hua jen-min kung-ho-kuo hun-yin-fa  hsueh-hsi shou-ts'e, op. c i t . . p. 49) i n i t i a t e d by cause percentage (%) women men divorce 35.8% 123 30 family dispute 24.4% 68 37 separation 11.8% 44 7 alimony 9.0% 37 2 termination of engagement 8.6% 27 9 marital dispute 6.2% 13 14 dispute over legacy 2.8% 4 8 other 1.4% 6 Total 100.0% 429 88 women i n the feudal society, and were employed for propaganda purposes i n the implementation campaign. It i s in t e r e s t i n g to point out, however, that since the Republican regime, divorce in large urban centres such as Shanghai was i n fact a rather common phenomenon (see T'an, 1932: 50-55 ) : p a r t l y due to the exposure to Western influences. In any event, a f t e r the en-forcement of the Marriage Law, divorce was regarded as the wide acceptance of the Law and as an indicati o n of the emanci-pation of women from the o l d marriage system. As w i l l be seen l a t e r , t h i s l e d to the indiscriminate granting of divorce by l o c a l o f f i c i a l s . The Central Government, Party members, and cadres both in the countryside and i n the c i t i e s were so deeply involved in other campaigns and mass movements at t h i s time that i t i s doubtful whether the enforcement of the Marriage Law gained 9 much attention once i t got beyong the Central Government. Apart from some occasional news of glowing success from urban a r e a s , ^ l i t t l e was heard of the Law. Toward the end of 1950, however, discussions on the d i f f i c u l t i e s and problems in implementing the Marriage Law began to appear. V i o l a t i o n was widespread, not only among the masses, but more seriously, among o f f i c i a l s themselves. A report from the Hunan P r o v i n c i a l Government i n July, 1950, 89 indicated that women a c t i v i s t s had overshot the mark i n t h e i r attempt to mobilize women, so that marriage p o l i c y became un-popular among the people. On the other hand, other cadres d i d not do t h e i r share of the p u b l i c i t y work, and the report c a l l e d for the i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of propaganda (Meijer, 1971: 120). But v i o l a t i o n of the Law, c h i e f l y by cadres and lower l e v e l o f f i c i a l s , continued to occur. The Central Government was so much engaged i n other a c t i v i e s that no concerted action was taken on these v i o l a t i o n s . The s i t u a t i o n was so serious at the end of the summer of 1951 that the problem could no longer be ignored. As a r e s u l t of the "Dir e c t i v e on investigation into the circumstances of the application of the Marriage Law" issued by the Government Administrative Council on September 26, 1951 (see Meijer, 1971: 122), investigation teams were set up both at the central and l o c a l l e v e l s . The investigation brought to l i g h t the serious disruption of families and marriages as a resu l t of the i n i t i a l implementation. The l o c a l j u d i c i a l department either d i d not pay attention to or d i d not c o r r e c t l y p u b l i c i z e the Marriage Law. Most cadres considered the Marriage Law propaganda the job of the women's groups, and believed that marital problems should not be handled by the court. Under the stimulation of the new Law, many young people, i n p a r t i c u l a r , young women. 90 attempted to obtain t h e i r r i g h t s . However, the p o l i t i c a l education of the cadres and o f f i c i a l s was not properly c a r r i e d out, and the e f f o r t s of the young people were met with v i o -lence and outrage by the more traditional-minded groups ( i b i d ) . Women were tortured, k i l l e d , or were forced to commit suicide. Local o f f i c e r s very often assisted the people to oppress women, and women' requests for divorce were delayed or i g n o r e d . ^ A common phenomenon was the adoption of "anatagonistic a t t i * tudes" toward the Marriage Law by cadres, o f f i c i a l s , and the masses. By t h i s time, i t had become obvious to the Central Government that the 1950 campaign, f a r from r a i s i n g the " p o l i -t i c a l thoughts" of the cadres, on the contrary disrupted the society more seriously than expected, and i t was necessary to undertake another campaign for i t s proper enforcement. The Campaign of 1951 While investigation teams continued to study previous applications of the Marriage Law, several d i r e c t i v e s were issued i n connection with the campaign i n 1951. These d i r e c -t i v e s reviewed the accojiplishments and d i f f i c u l t i e s to date, and revealed the general reluctance of the cadres to administer the p o l i c y (Madian, 1962: 47). Although the Central Government accused the cadres for not enforcing the Law seriously, i t also recognized i t s own f a u l t for not givin g concrete instructions 91 for them to follow. Taking into account the fact that lower l e v e l cadres and o f f i c i a l s were themselves unprepared to com-p l e t e l y accept the new concepts of marriage and the family, the Central Government remained r e l a t i v e l y f l e x i b l e . Similar to the previous campaign, the d i r e c t i v e s stressed the educational aspect of the movement. "Thought struggle" was advocated as the means to combat the remnants of feudal ideas. In an a r t i c l e published i n Jen-min jih-pao, Shih Liang, the Minister of Justice, f i r s t explained the significance of the Marriage Law and then suggested ways of dealing with i t s implementation. The leaders of the people's courts at a l l l e v e l s must organize the cadres to study the Marriage Law seriously. They must f i r s t understand the p o l i t i -c a l implications of implementing the Marriage Law. Its enforcement i s a struggle against the power of feudalism. It i s a necessary task to emancipate women and to r a i s e t h e i r productive p o t e n t i a l po-s i t i v e l y . 13 She stated the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the family and the society: Since the family was an economic, s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and educa-t i o n a l unit i n the society, problems a r i s i n g from marital d i s -putes would a f f e c t an individual's sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and his energy for productivity. This would i n turn hinder the development of the society. She suggested that, i n the cam-paign for implementing the Marriage Law, the following must be done:-92 (1) The Marriage Law p o l i c y must be broadly p u b l i -cized: t h i s i s an indispensable task for eradicating feudal thoughts. The content of p u b l i c i t y works should not only include the general explanations of the Marriage Law p o l i c y . Concrete examples of lib e r a t e d women, and the happy democratic families which they set up should also be employed. For instance, af t e r s u f f e r i n g from a b i t t e r and depress-ing marriage, Ch'en Shiu-ni of Shunteh County, Kwangtung, f i n a l l y obtained a divorce. After her divorce, she d i d not only a c t i v e l y engaged in pro-duction, but also mobilized the women i n her v i l l -age to p a r t i c i p a t e i n production. Consequently, the cadres and people i n her d i s t r i c t gained a new understanding of the Marriage Law. In addi-t i o n , study groups, exhibitions, notices, etc. can be organized to pu b l i c i z e the p o l i c y . (2) Those who suppress women's rights must be se-verely punished: since the promulgation of the Law, thousands of women were murdered or forced to commit suicide. This kind of thing i s int o l e r a b l e i n the new society. ... The d i s t r i c t people's courts and other related departments should carry out i n v e s t i -gation on such matters immediately. The offenders must be sentenced according to the law. At the same time, they can be set as examples to educate the cadres and the masses ... (3) The system of judgement and work s t y l e have to be revised: the cadres must handle marital cases p o s i t i v e l y . They should not only await people to appeal, but should a c t i v e l y support women's rights and carry out the task of educating the masses. In handling marital cases, they must study them c a r e f u l l y and gather opinions from the people. The l o c a l women's leagues should be i n v i t e d to as s i s t i n these matters. Furthermore, the l o c a l people's courts should cooperate with the women's leagues to v i s i t and advise the people involved i n these cases p e r i o d i c a l l y and s y s t e m a t i c a l l y . ^ In view..of cadres' malpractice i n the 1950 campaign, a new development of the implementation i n 1951 was the punitive 93 t r e a t m e n t o f c a d r e s and o f f i c i a l s who u p h e l d t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s and o b s t r u c t e d women i n t h e i r a t t empt t o f i g h t f o r t h e i r r i g h t s . S e v e r a l d i r e c t i v e s a d v o c a t e d s e v e r e p u n i s h -ments f o r t h e s e c a d r e s and o f f i c i a l s . ^ However, l i k e t h e p r e v i o u s i m p l e m e n t a t i o n , t h e momentum o f t h i s campaign g r a d u a l l y d i e d down as t h e CCP was r e a b s o r b e d i n t o o t h e r a c t i v i t i e s . A g r a r i a n r e f o r m , t h e Th ree and F i v e A n t i Campaigns , t h e N a t i o n a l R e c o n s t r u c t i o n D r i v e and p a r t y r e o r g a n i z a t i o n were a t t h e i r h e i g h t s d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d o f t i m e . A p a r t f r om an o c c a s i o n a l a r t i c l e o r two on women's r i g h t s p u b l i s h e d i n women's magaz ine ( f o r example , Chung-kuo  f u -n tL ) , l i t t l e f u r t h e r e f f o r t was expended on t h e en fo r cement o f t h e M a r r i a g e Law. The M a r r i a g e Law I m p l e m e n t a t i o n Campaign i n 1953 The b e g i n n i n g o f 1953 marked a d i f f e r e n t p e r i o d i n Com-m u n i s t C h i n a . By t h i s t i m e , most o f t h e ma jo r movements, such as l a n d r e f o r m and t h e F i v e A n t i campa ign , were coming t o an end . A f t e r t h e f i r s t t h r e e y e a r s o f economic r e c o v e r y , n a t i o n a l economic c o n s o l i d a t i o n was now underway, and t h e F i r s t F ive;~Year P l a n was about t o be l a u n c h e d . Economic deve lopment became a ma jo r c o n c e r n o f t h e C h i n e s e l e a d e r s h i p . Meanwh i l e , t h e M a r r i a g e Law a g a i n became a s u b j e c t o f n a t i o n a l a t t e n t i o n . 9 4 Previous e f f o r t s at implementing the Marriage Law had brought about some fundamental changes i n the Chinese family. In urban centres, the concept of the new family and marriage system, f i r s t introduced i n the "family revolution", was ca r r i e d a step further. One of the indications of t h i s was the continual increase of divorce, i n i t i a t e d p r i marily by women who were d i s s a t i s f i e d with t h e i r p osition i n the old family system. But t h i s picture only described the si t u a t i o n of a minority of the population. Even the Chinese leadership had to admit that t h i s phenomenon was by no means a balanced 16 one. While many "model f a m i l i e s " based on mutual love and respect, which worked toward the production of the state, had been established, i n most areas, e s p e c i a l l y the countryside, the resistance of t r a d i t i o n was s t i l l great. Perhaps t h i s re-sistance arose not so much from antagonistic attitudes toward the new marriage system promoted by the government .as . from those toward the ways i n which the cadres and l o c a l government leaders handled matrimonial cases. The implementation of the Marriage Law disrupted more families than the Central Govern-17 ment expected. In spite of repeated i d e o l o g i c a l i n d o c t r i -nation, the cadres and o f f i c i a l s went on doing things t h e i r own ways. Together with the increase of divorce was a steady 18 r i s e of homicide and suicide rate for women. Instead of 95 tr y i n g to r e c t i f y t h i s s i t u a t i o n , government personnel con-tinued to abuse t h e i r authority and to oppress young people and women. Fearing that t h e i r own family s o l i d a r i t y would be threatened, o f f i c i a l s simply could not carry out the law e f f e c t i v e l y . However, at th i s time the country needed to d i -rect a l l i t s energy to economic development. F a m i l i a l problems which led to confusion, deaths or injury could not be allowed to d i s t r a c t the development of the state. Moreover, in order to encourage women to jo i n i n production, t h e i r rights i n the society could not be oppressed. Thus, by t h i s time i t was apparent to the Central Government that another mass campaign to enforce the Law was i n order. On February 1, 1953, a d i r e c t i v e signed by Premier Chou E n - l a i was issued by the Government Administrative Council i n -d i c a t i n g that a large scale Marriage Law enforcement and i n -19 vestigation campaign was to be launched i n March. The Premier f i r s t pointed out previous errors of implementation: Owing to leading organs*, and cadres' lack of proper under-standing of the Law, i t propaganda and the management of marital disputes had not been accurately c a r r i e d out. The d i r e c t i v e revealed that "feudal" behaviour, such as the oppression of women, t h i r d person interference i n marriage, etc., was s t i l l widespread. Six guidelines were given for the March campaign. 96 From previous experiences, the CCP r e a l i z e d the disrup-t i v e e f f e c t of the implementation of the Marriage Law. In the present campaign, therefore, f i r s t , i t was p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r e s -sed that marriage reform was a thought struggle which required a tremendous amount of patience and long-term work. Second, i t was necessary to massively p u b l i c i z e the Law and to examine i t s a pplication in practice, so that the masses and cadres could d i s t i n g u i s h feudal thoughts from the New Democratic marriage system. On the other hand, the educational aspect was equally important. While the objective of the Law was the a b o l i t i o n of the feudal marriage system, i t was stated e x p l i c i t l y i n the d i r e c t i v e that in exposing the e v i l s of the t r a d i t i o n a l family, t h i s must not be extended to personal and f a m i l i a l problems of the in d i v i d u a l s . The Central Govern-ment was a f r a i d of causing further antagonism among the people as i n past instances. The d i r e c t i v e indicated that the task of implementation must s t a r t from the top. The cadres must be educated f i r s t i n order to prevent further malpractice and/or abuse of power. The government believed that i t was only a f t e r p o l i t i c a l indoctrination among the cadres was completed that the propaganda of the Law should take place among the people. During the campaign, concrete analysis was to, be applied to the remnants of feudal thoughts 97 i n r e l a t i o n to the question of marriage. Third, the month of March was set for the mass campaign i n a l l c i t i e s and v i l l a g e s . However, minority areas and those areas where land reform had not been completed would not be included, in case the imple-mentation of the Law would lead to unnecessary disturbances i n the recently l i b e r a t e d regions. The aim of the campaign was to mobilize the masses, e s p e c i a l l y women, to p a r t i c i p a t e in production. Thus, model families, individuals and i n c i -dents were to be widely publicized, whereas anti-Marriage Law behaviour and ideas were to be c r i t i c i z e d . The Central Govern-ment gave permission to the personnel responsible for the implementation to c a l l meetings based on the v i l l a g e , neigh-bourhood, or family unit, but the basic unit of the campaign was the hsien. In the d i s t r i c t s where the remnants of feudal behaviour was pronounced, the people's courts were allowed to c a l l general meetings to c r i t i c i z e or t r y the criminals p u b l i c l y . However, the d i r e c t i v e stressed that care must be exercised i n educating the families of the revolutionary army and i n helping them to re - e s t a b l i s h t h e i r families because of th e i r s p e c i a l s i t u a t i o n . F i f t h , i t then suggested the l o c a l party organizations and people's groups be responsible for the welfare of those women who encountered temporary f i n a n c i a l setbacks i n t h e i r struggle against the remnants of feudal 98 thoughts. In extending aids to these people, the CCP i n effe c t i n v i t e d the people to put t h e i r f a i t h i n the new government, which would provide for them when they could not r e l y upon t h e i r f a m i l i e s . This would further destroy the economic importance of the t r a d i t i o n a l family system, which, i n the past, e f f e c t i v e l y controlled family members and t i e them together by t h e i r economic interdependence. Lastly, the d i r e c t i v e instructed the people's government above the hsien l e v e l to form Marriage Law implementation committees immediately to c o l l e c t information on participants of the campaign at a l l l e v e l s , so that the government could exercise d i r e c t control upon these people, and to discuss d i f f e r e n t methods of the enforcement of the Marriage Law. Later i n the same month, on February 25, an outline of the Marriage Law implementation propaganda was issued by the Council of Committee on the Thorough Implementation of the Marriage Law, the central governmental organ which was i n charge of d i r e c t i n g the Marriage Law implementation at a l l l e v e l s . This outline was intended to serve as a standard for workers i n the campaign, e s p e c i a l l y those at lower l e v e l s . On the whole, i t followed the same l i n e of argument as the d i r e c t i v e discussed above, but several additional points are worth noting. F i r s t of a l l , i t spelt out the basic p r i n c i p l e s 99 of the Marriage Law - to abolish the compulsory feudal marri-age system and to est a b l i s h the New Democratic marriage system. However, i t went on to say that when a young couple decided to get married, they should ask the parents' approval or opi-nion. Although parents wer.enot.tbforce marriage upon t h e i r 20 children, they might act as go-betweens. I n f o r m e r c a m " paigns, women were encouraged to gain freedom from the bondage of t r a d i t i o n and the high divorce rate was.taken as an i n d i -cation of the emancipation of women, but divorce was d e f i n i t e l y played down t h i s time. C o n f l i c t s among family members were discouraged. Throughout the entire outline, the importance of harmonious relationships between husband and wife, and parents and children was emphasized. Minimization of family c o n f l i c t s would enable people to be more re a d i l y mobilized in the productive forces. The goal of the Democratic marriage system was to "reinforce the forces for the economic and 21 c u l t u r a l construction of the state." C l e a r l y , the campaign of the 1953 implementation placed the emphasis upon the harmonious aspects of f a m i l i a l r e l a -t i o n s . The purpose of t h i s campaign was to persuade people to d i r e c t t h e i r energy toward production. From past experi-ences, the Chinese leadership learned that severe reprimand of v i o l a t o r s and c a d r e s / o f f i c i a l s would only Lead to stubborn 100 refusal of accepting the Marriage Law pol i c y , because people f a i l e d to see the implementation of the Law as a form of thought struggle and considered i t an attack on t h e i r own personal and f a m i l i a l a f f a i r s . In the 1953 campaign, there-fore, s p e c i f i c reference was made to prohibit the extension of the question of the feudal marriage system to the personal aspect of the problems of the individuals involved, except i n cases where other resorts f a i l e d . The implementation of the Marriage Law was not c a r r i e d out i n the newly consolidated areas for fear of arousing further discontent among the people. Greater leniency was exercised i n the treatment of cadres and o f f i c e r s , who made mistakes i n handling marital disputes. They were, moreover, urged to a s s i s t women and to discuss the problems of implementation with other workers on the campaign. Youngsters were asked to obtain t h e i r parents' advice on the matter of marriage. The publications of t h i s period showed a clear tendency to replace the previous attempt of rapid reform with the emphasis on harmony and unity, and the elements which would disrupt the ex i s t i n g s o c i a l order were not encouraged. The aim, then, was to draw people into the labour force as quickly and as smoothly as possible, so that the country could turn i t s f u l l attention to economic development. The Marriage Law implementation campaign i n eff e c t 101 started i n the end of January and reached a high point i n March. Afterwards, the excitement brought about by the cam-paign again subsided f a i r l y quickly. After 1953, the Central Government was preoccupied by other a c t i v i t i e s i n economic and a g r i c u l t u r a l development. The Marriage Law never became a subject of central importance again, although an occasional d i r e c t i v e or so would be issued to the l o c a l people's govern-ments reminding them to treat i t s enforcement as a ..constant , ,22 task. 102 FOOTNOTES - CHAPTER 4 ""My conclusion here i s mainly derived from the informa-ti o n from Nan-fang jih-pao and the URI Clip p i n g F i l e on the Marriage Law movement. From 1950 to 1953, the d i r e c t i v e s were ussied d i r e c t l y from Peking; they were then reprinted i n the l o c a l press. After 1953, the concern of the Central Government about the enforcement of the Marriage Law had decreased considerably, but the l o c a l press s t i l l p e r i o d i -c a l l y drew attention to i t s implementation on the p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l . 2 Kuang-ming jih-pao, Peking, June 4, 1955 and Hsi-k'ang  jih-pao, January 12, 1955 (URI Cl i p p i n g s ) . 3 "Notice of the Central CCP Committee for party members to guarantee the enforcement of the Marriage Law", i n Chung-hua jen-min kung-ho-kuo hun-yin-fa (Marriage Law of the Chinese People's Republic) (Peking: Jen min ch'u pan she, 1950), p. 9-10. 4 I b i d . ^"Joint notice of the Government Administrative Council, the Youth Corps, and the Women's League for the l o c a l people's organizations i n supporting the Marriage Law of the Chinese People's Republic", Chung-hua jen-min kung-ho-kuo hun-yin-fa, pp. c i t . , p. 11-14. 6 I b i d , p. 12-13. 7 Shih Liang, "The s p i r i t of the Marriage Law", Kuang-ming  j ih-pao, Peking, A p r i l 16, 1950 reprinted i n Chung-hua jen-min kung-ho-kuo hun-yin-fa hsueh-hsi shou-ts'e (Study guides to the Marriage Law of the Chinese People's Republic) (Shanghai: Wen kung shu t i e n , 1951), p. 18-20. o "Studying the Marriage Law and enforcing i t " , Chung-kuo  fu-ntt. No. 12 (July, 1950), p. 4 (URI Cli p p i n g s ) , g My data on Kwangtung during t h i s period indicate that not much attention was paid to the Marriage Law because of the immediacy of other problem. See Chapter 5. 103 •"""^ For example, Jen-min jih-pao, October 13, 1951, p. 3. Also, see Median (1962: 4). '''"'"See Jen-min jih-pao, October 13, 1951, p. 3. Ibid. 13 Shih Liang, "Seriously implement and enforce the Marriage Law", Jen-min jih-pao, October 13, 1951, p. 3. I b i d . """^ For instance, the "Directive of the" Ministry of the In-t e r i o r " , Hsin-hua yueh-pao, October, 1951, p. 1245, noted: "In the present investigation of the conditions r e l a t i n g to the implementation of the Marriage Law, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ' f o r such i l l e g a l acts which endanger the masses s h a l l be traced, and punishment meted out to those deserving i t . " S i m i l a r l y , the "Government Administrative Council D i r e c t i v e " signed by Chou E n ' l a i , Hsin-hua yueh-pao, October, 1951, stated: "Furthermore, serious l e g a l measures s h a l l have to be taken for the pr o h i b i t i o n of such serious crimes as the murder of women, ro the forcing of women into suicide as the re s u l t of interference with t h e i r freedom of marriage. ... Cadres s h a l l also be appropriately dealt with i n accordance with the serious-ness of the cases involved when found to have been neglected, shelted such criminals or to have themselves i n t e r f e r e d with the freedom of marriage of people leading to the death of women from murder or sui c i d e . " ( A l l quoted from Madian, 1962: 59-61). X 6 See "Di r e c t i v e of the Government Administrative Council concerning the thorough implementation of the Marriage Law" (February 1, 1953) reprinted in Kuan che hun-yin-fa yun-tung  t i chung-yao-wen-chien (Important documents of the Marriage Law implementation) (Peking: Jen min ch'u pan she, 1953), p. 1. 17 Jen-min jih-pao, October 13, 1951, p. 3; Kuan che hun-yin-fa yun-tung t i chung-yao-wen-chien, op. c i t . , p. 1-5 and 23-26. I b i d . 19 "Directive of the Government Administrative Council con-cerning the thorough implementation of the Marriage Law", i b i d , p. 1-5. 104 "^"Outline of the Marriage Law implementation propaganda", Kuan che hun-yin-fa yun-tung t i chung-yao-wen-chien, op. c i t . , p. 12-22. 21 "Directive of the Government Administrative Council con-cerning the thorough implementation of the Marriage Law", i b i d , p. 2. 22 For example, "Request for p u b l i c i z i n g the Marriage Law during the c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s at the spring f e s t i v a l " , Jen-min jih-pao, January 7, 1955 and "Strengthen the constant mission of enforcing the Marriage Law", Jen-min jih-pao, March 6, 1955 (URI C l i p p i n g s ) . 105 CHAPTER 5 THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MARRIAGE LAW IN KWANGTUNG Kwangtung at the Time of Takeover While on the whole, the s i t u a t i o n of Kwangtung resembled that of the rest of China at the time of takeover, i t d i f f e r e d with regards to d e t a i l s . Situated along the south-eastern border of China, this^ province has always been known to the people of the north for i t s idiosycracies and marginality. Kwangtung was one of the l a t e s t areas in China to be conquered by the Han people. Before i t f i n a l l y came under the firm con-t r o l of the central government in the Han dynasty, i t was a wild country inhabited mainly by minority groups (see Vogel, 1969: 13). In spite of the fact that Kwangtung p e r i o d i c a l l y saw the i n f i l t r a t i o n of northern cultures, i t had remained,in large,independent from the north, with i t s own language, l o c a l customs, and sense of i d e n t i t y . A researcher obwerves that the notion that the Cantonese have not quite overcome t h e i r less c i v i l i z e d background i s s t i l l widespread among northerners ( i b i d ) . .Since China i s a vast land, i t i s almost impossible for any government to gain complete control of the entire country at once. Perhaps with the exception of the Republican revolu-106 tio n , i t has invariably been the case that the major batt l e s were fought in the north. The same was also true for the Communist government. While the Kuomintang government had l o s t most of the northern provinces, Kwangtung remained i t s stronghold right up to the eve of Liberation. By t h i s time, the Kuomintang had moved most organs of i t s government to Taiwan, but i t s troops were s t i l l putting up a defense i n Kwangtung. Canton c i t y , the c a p i t a l of Kwangtung, was not occupied by the Chinese Communists u n t i l two weeks afte r the establishment of the Chinese People' Republic i n Peking on October 1, 1949 (see Vogel, 1969). Although a d i r e c t con-frontation of the two governments was avoided because most of the higher l e v e l Kuomintang o f f i c i a l s had already retreated from the province when the Communist troops arrived, the i n -fluence of the Kuomintang was s t i l l very great. Many low l e v e l o f f i c e r s and underground workers of the Kuomintang government remained, and pro-Kuomintang sentiments were quite strong among the people. Despite a r e l a t i v e l y peaceful and quiet takeover, the Chinese Communist Party found the o f f i c e s in a state of t o t a l disorganization and d i s r e p a i r ( i b i d ) - One of the most imminent tasks of the CCP at t h i s time was to take over governmental o f f i c e s and to gain p o l i t i c a l control of Kwangtung as smoothly and as quickly as possible. 107 The Promulgation of the Marriage Law and Its Ef f e c t s i n Kwangtung After Kwangtung was lib e r a t e d , the major work of the CCP i n t r y i n g to gain control of the governmental o f f i c e s was the recruitment of competent personnel to f i l l the vacant posi-tions. This was because most of the q u a l i f i e d Kuomintang o f f i -c i a l s had l e f t , and the Communist o f f i c e r s who came from the north were unfamiliar with the si t u a t i o n of the south. In the absence of appropriate personnel from the Communist pool, the CCP was forced to employ low l e v e l Kuomintang o f f i c e r s who had a working knowledge of the administrative o f f i c e s . The Com-munist leadership d i d not come to Kwangtung with a s p e c i f i c d e t a i l e d plan, but rather, an o v e r a l l perspective, namely, advance toward a s o c i a l i s t society (see Vogel, 1969: 51). Meanwhile, integration of the d i f f e r e n t groups of people, that i s , those from the north, the l o c a l g u e r i l l a f i g h t e r s , and the Kuomintang o f f i c e r s , posed a problem for the CCP during t h i s early period. Thus, Kwangtung represented a d i f f i c u l t area for the Chinese leadership, e s p e c i a l l y so because of i t s regional d i v e r s i t y and the segmentation of the d i f f e r e n t groups. As a r e s u l t , various campaigns were promoted i n the attempt to s o l i d i f y Communist control i n the province and to eliminate p o t e n t i a l centres of opposition ( i b i d : 64). A minor r e c t i f i c a t i o n campaign was launched i n early 1950, which reached 108 a climax i n June that year. The main target of the campaign was former g u e r i l l a s , who, despite t h e i r contributions to the Communists i n r e s i s t i n g the Kuomintang, had not r e a l l y adjusted themselves to o f f i c e work and the d i s c i p l i n e of a government. The Democratic Reform Campaign was promoted i n the f a l l of the same year to eliminate secret s o c i e t i e s and gangs, which had never integrated well with the Communist government. The Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries was started i n September 11, 1950 i n the attempt to wipe out o l d Kuomintang workers who might be working for the Kuomintang government through connections i n Hong Kong and Taiwan."'" These, then, were some of the problems which the Communist leaders i n Kwangtung had to deal with a f t e r the takeover. In comparison, the promulgation of the Marriage Law, which s t i r r e d up a f l u r r y of excitement i n northern China, was a subject of r e l a t i v e i n s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h i s southern province. This i s not to say that marriage and family reforms were completely overlooked i n the south. Prior to the promulgation of the Marriage Law, an occasional a r t i c l e or two.would be published i n the o f f i c i a l press discussing the New Democratic marriage and the freedom of marriage i n the " o l d " l i b e r a t e d 2 areas. These a r t i c l e s g l o r i f i e d the newly gained freedom of women through the marriage reform, and c r i t i c i z e d the 109 t r a d i t i o n a l feudal system. They served as the f i r s t step to introduce the Marriage Law into Kwangtung. However, i n t e r e s t -ingly, the newspaper was s i l e n t about the promulgation of the ' Marriage Law on May 1, 1950. It was. not u n t i l May 3 that the notice concerning' the enforcement of the Marriage Law, o r i g i n a l l y published i n Peking, was reprinted i n the southern press. The j o i n t notice of the people's organizations was released on the same day. Subsequent a r t i c l e s and o f f i c i a l documents i n t h i s period were a l l reprinted from the Peking press, and the pro-v i n c i a l government was strangely quiet about the subject of implementing the Marriage Law. The l o c a l government d i d not make an active e f f o r t to enforce i t . There was no in d i c a t i o n of how the implementation campaign was c a r r i e d out, i f i t was c a r r i e d out at a l l . Apart from a section i n the press which answered le g a l questions by the readers, of which the Marriage Law occupied one occasional paragraph or two, the l o c a l govern-ment d i d not seem to pay much attention to i t . Perhaps one of the reasons for the r e l a t i v e neglect of the Marriage Law enforcement was because at t h i s time, Kwang-tung province was not completely under Communist r u l e . The end of A p r i l and the beginning of May marked the l i b e r a t i o n of Hainan Island, the largest i s l a n d of Kwangtung and the l a s t 3 base of the Kuomintang government except for Taiwan. In 110 the time that followed, the Kwangtung government was pre-occupied with t h i s v i c t o r y and the incorporation of Hainan Island into, the Communist regime. Meanwhile, other a c t i v i t i e s , such as spring planting and issuing welfare aids for unem-4 ployed workers were more important to the.]ocal leaders. It must be noted that, although the Marriage Law d i d not gain much notice i n Kwangtung i n 1950, women were mobilized to par t i c i p a t e i n agriculture and other a c t i v i t i e s by the Women's League.^ The Marriage Law d i d not t o t a l l y go unnoticed. In study sessions i n f a c t o r i e s , the Law and marriage reform were sometimes ra i s e d for discussions. These study sessions were c h i e f l y aimed at women groups such as factory workers. The topics of discussion were centred around the incorrect a t t i -tudes toward marriage and divorce i n the past. Women were instructed to study the marriage p o l i c y c o r r e c t l y and to 6 b u i l d up harmonious f a m i l i e s . Whereas a Marriage Law implementation campaign was launched i n most parts of China, i n Kwangtung i t was l i m i t e d to discussions among women's groups. Indoctrination of men was p r a c t i c a l l y non-existent. Toward the end of June, when the Land Reform Law was promulgated, the Kwangtung government poured i t s energy to i t s 7 implementation at once. This was followed by the Resist America, Aid Korea Campaign beginning i n Novermber. The I l l Marriage Law was not even mentioned i n the l o c a l press. It seems that the p o l i c y of implementing the Law in Kwangtung was s i m i l a r to that of other newly l i b e r a t e d and minority areas i n that no concerted action was taken for i t enforcement except for a preliminary attempt of introduction. In view of the chaotic s i t u a t i o n i n Kwangtung at the time following take-over, the Communist government needed to expend most, i f not a l l , of i t s energy i n gaining p o l i t i c a l c o n t r o l . Disruption i n spheres other than p o l i t i c a l ones was hot desirable. Thus, despite orders from the Central Government, the implementation of the Marriage Law was never an important issue i n Kwangtung. The Campaign i n 1951 Like the rest of China, the year 1951 was s t i l l a period of reorganization and consolidation i n Kwangtung. By t h i s time, .-• land reform was underway, and the p r o v i n c i a l govern-ment was pushing for increasing production of grain and other a g r i c u l t u r a l produce. Many more new movements were started, but these campaigns were mainly of short-term duration. For instance, i n July, the Canton customs started an anti-smuggling 9 campaign, which lasted for a week, while workers i n that c i t y also began a democratic reform movement against l o c a l "tyrants" and "public thieves" under the assistance of work teams.^ In the mean time, talks about the implementation of the 112 Marriage Law were beginning to be heard. A discussion session on the Marriage Law enforcement was held by the Canton c i t y people's government on August 5, 1951 to review the implementation of the Law i n the past year. The meeting revealed that a c e r t a i n degree of success had been achieved i n the r e g i s t r a t i o n of marriage, but the job of propaganda had been far from adequate. The cadres had been generally unconcerned "about the enforcement of the Law, so that implementation of t h i s p o l i c y had not become a public m o v e m e n t . M a l e cadres considered the Marriage Law as "women's law", whereas women believed that the section on divorce would benefit the men, more than women, and were thus 12 very reluctant to accept i t . The 1951 campaign attempted to mend previous misconception of the Law. The campaign generally followed the four guidelines given by the Central . Committee i n Peking. "Thought education" was emphasized, es p e c i a l l y education among cadres and o f f i c i a l s . O f f i c e r s of the people's organizations and governments and party mem-bers were to summon cadres to study the Marriage Law, and to c o l l e c t and c r i t i c i z e anti-Marriage Law cases. In view of the lack of propaganda l a s t time, the Law was widely p u b l i c i z e d i n meetings, t r a i n i n g classes, and night schools. Different media, such as radio broadcast, newspapers, wall writings, 113 cartoon, and so on, were used for propaganda purposes. V i o l a -tors were, once discovered, heavily punished. People who secretly practised interference of marriage, polygamy, and even those who acted as go-betweens, were severely reprimanded. The Marriage Law campaign was c a r r i e d out i n conjunction with land reform and the Suppress Counterrevolutionary Campaign to maximize i t s impact. The important feature of this--campaign 13 was i t s "anti-feudal" nature. A month l a t e r , a d i r e c t i v e wasissued by the Central-south M i l i t a r y Committee ordering the people's organizations at a l l l e v e l s to implement the Law. This d i r e c t i v e again stressed the importance of propaganda and education in promoting the new marriage system. O f f i c i a l s and women's groups were given the authority to r e c t i f y the v i o l a t i o n of the Law, and to punish the offenders. Detailed and in-depth investigatiors on matrimonial problems were 14 c a r r i e d out, and criminals were punished. The Marriage Law campaign i n 1951, then, was launched as a form of pub l i c i z e d education i n lectures and classes i n urban areas. In the countryside, i t was incorporated with land reform and the women's movement, i n i t i a t e d primarily by the Kwangtung Democratic Women's League."'"^ Heavy punishments were i n f l i c t e d upon v i o l a t o r s of the Law. Indeed, during the height of the campaign, news on the verdict of Marriage Law 114 offenses almost became a d a i l y occurence. i D On November 1, a Marriage Law investigation team was set up on Kwangtung to carry out inspection of the Marriage Law application i n 17 d i f f e r e n t d i s t r i c t s . The 1951 campaign was primarily di r e c t e d towards young people and women, p a r t i c u l a r l y divor-cees and widows, who were most intimately t i e d to problems a r i s i n g from marital disputes. Moreover, these were the people who would be most w i l l i n g to carry out the struggle against the ol d system. But despite repeated e f f o r t s at en-forcement, v i o l a t i o n s of the Marriage Law continued to occur. What alarmed the l o c a l leaders most was the news from Kwangsi Province saying that there was group suicide i n the Seventh 18 D i s t r i c t of the province. As a re s u l t , the Kwangtung people's government issued a d i r e c t i v e ordering the inten-19 s i f i c a t i o n of the Marriage Law enforcement. With increased headlines of the Marriage Law propaganda i n the o f f i c i a l press, the siuation i n Kwangtung seemed to improve somewhat. The sub-committee of the Central Investigation Team from Peking reported that feudal phenomena, such as c h i l d betrothal, were disappearing; free choice i n marriage partners and harmonious families were on the increase; and women were taking an active r o l e i n applying for divorce. However, the pervasiveness of t h i s campaign would be 115 d i f f i c u l t to determine right away, because demands from other a c t i v i t i e s , which were of greater economic and p o l i t i c a l s i g -n ificance, gradually re-absorbed the energy of the Kwangtung government. The excitement of the campaign subsided a f t e r the return of the investigation team to Peking. Meanwhile, the Three Anti and l a t e r the Five Anti Campaigns were launched; control of i n f l a t i o n was underway. The thought reform for i n t e l l e c t u a l s beginning i n 1952 marked the close of the Marriage Law campaign. 21 The 1953 Campaign in Kwangtung The early years of Communist rule i n Kwangtung was charac-t e r i z e d by confusion and disorganization. While i n 1953, most major areas of the country were already well consolidated and most of the major movements were out of the way i n the north, 22 Kwangtung was s t i l l undergoing government reorganization 23 and economic recovery i n the more backward mountain regions. By t h i s time, the F i r s t Five Year Plan was to be launched on the national l e v e l . Another nationwide Marriage Law implemen-tat i o n campaign was about to be started, Kwangtung was not to lag behind. In f a c t , Kwangtung was not r e a l l y ready for these major events. For instance, the f i r s t serious round of d i s -cussions on the F i r s t Five Year Plan i n Canton d i d not take place u n t i l the spring of 1954 (see Vogel, 1969: 130). How-116 ever, a large scale Marriage Law campaign was to take place i n accordance with the plan of the Central Government. Owing to experiences gained from previous e f f o r t s , the campaign i n 1953 was much better prepared and coordinated. Well before the actual s t a r t of the campaign i n March, arrange-ments were made for the implementation. A committee for the Marriage Law implementation was set up i n Kwangtung to cen-24 t r a l i z e planning. The implementation of the Law was to be c a r r i e d out i n conjunction with the spring planting season to allow for the maximization of mass mobilization. -,. In preparation for the campaign, o f f i c e s f o r the sub-committee for Marriage Law Implementation were set up before January 20 in each d i s t r i c t . A f t e r the establishment of the sum-committees, spec i a l agents were sent to d i f f e r e n t v i l l a g e s and d i s t r i c t s to investigate previous application of the Law. They were also responsible for c o l l e c t i n g propaganda material for l a t e r use. Furthermore, i n order to lay down the foundation of the Marriage Law propaganda, classes were set up i n advance for the ideo-l o g i c a l indoctrination of cadres at a l l l e v e l s . The cadres who were d i r e c t l y involved i n a c t i v i t i e s of the campaign were organized into study groups for regular discussions. Meanwhile, p u b l i c i t y sub-committees were established. Their task was to prepare materials for propaganda and to publish handbooks and 117 study guides on the Marriage Law. A variety of media, such as s l i d e s , pictures, cartoon, broadcast, etc., apart from the c i r c u l a t i o n of pamplets, were used for propaganda purposes. Old l i b e r a t e d areas were chosen for "spot-test". That i s , some.well-consolidated regions were set aside as experimental areas for the enforcement of the Law before the actual cam-paign. Experiences.gained from these d i s t r i c t s were to be used as guidelines for the March campaign i n the more "back-ward" or newly consolidated areas. The campaign of 1953 also represented a much more systematic i approach to the implementation of the Marriage Law. Taking into, account the unbalanced development of d i f f e r e n t l o c a l i t i e s , the implementation varied from one d i s t r i c t to the other. The province was divided into four major d i s t r i c t s , and p o l i c y for each d i s t r i c t varied according to the length of time since i t was l i b e r a t e d . In areas where land reform had been completed or nearly completed, or areas with a population of over twenty-one m i l l i o n , the enforcement of the Law was c a r r i e d out i n f u l l scale. Propaganda was extensive to allow for the "es-tablishment of the correct understanding of the Law" among the masses. The d i s t i n c t i o n of the feudal marriage system and the New Democratic marriage system was c l e a r l y isolated.Mal-treatment and murder, of women were severely reprimanded. 118 Cadres and o f f i c i a l s who were not concerned about women's rights were c r i t i c i z e d , and t h e i r "feudal" behaviour exposed. Volunteers, cadres, and other workers of the campaign were ordered to a s s i s t the j u d i c i a l department i n these areas i n clea r i n g up a l l matrimonial cases which had been accumulating due to neglect. The aim was to firml y e s t a b l i s h the new s o c i a l morale and to conquer the remnants of feudal thoughts . among cadres and o f f i c i a l s through thought struggle, so that they would consciously or unconsciously enforce the Marriage Law. In the new land reform areas or areas with a population of around seven m i l l i o n , measures were not as d r a s t i c . Since the f i g h t against the "enemy", namely landlords and l o c a l tyrants, was incomplete i n these regions, a more lenient strategy was adopted. The campaign was li m i t e d to propaganda and education i n every possible way. Except i n extreme cases, no punitive device was employed. The emphasis was to maintain the p r i n c i p l e of mobilizing the sexes i n productive a c t i v i t i e s . Local workers, however, were asked to help women to solve t h e i r problems accurately, and cadres of a l l lev e l s were responsible for p r o h i b i t i n g suicide or homicide cases a r i s i n g from marital disputes. They/were also responsible for i n v e s t i -gating the application of the Law by l o c a l o f f i c i a l s . The goal, then, was to mobilize the masses widely and adequately. 1 1 9 The Marriage Law campaign was c a r r i e d out with land reform, so as to f a c i l i t a t e land reform i n these more recently l i -berated areas. The t h i r d d i s t r i c t of implementation was middle and small towns, the sizes of which were not given. In these areas where the Democratic Reform movement was i n progress, the Marriage Law campaign was c a r r i e d out i n con-junction with i t for the elimination of "public thieves". Again, punishment of o f f i c i a l s , cadres, and v i o l a t o r s of the Law was not stressed. Propaganda was the main emphasis as i n the second d i s t r i c t . Cadres were also advised 'to prohibit s u i c i d a l or homicidal behaviour. The picture provided above indicates two ways i n which the Marriage Law was used by the Chinese leadership i n Kwang-tung. F i r s t l y , the Marriage Law was used as a ' t o o l to change thoughts and to create new s o c i a l values i n prepara-t i o n for the advancement towards a s o c i a l i s t country. In the l a t t e r instances, i n which other movements were s t i l l i n operation, t h i s role of the Marriage Law became a minor one. It was used more importantly as a catalyst to promote and f a c i l i t a t e other movements. Thus, apart from the task of propaganda and the p r o h i b i t i o n of murder, the workers of the campaign were not asked to use punitive devices for v i o l a t i o n of the Law. 120 In minority areas, propaganda was not even c a r r i e d out. A l l the cadres were required to do was to investigate and study l o c a l conditions, and to make suggestions to the l o c a l authorities regarding the application of the Law. In view of the p o l i t i c a l i n s t a b i l i t y i n these regions, the p r o v i n c i a l government was careful not to create any unnecessary distur= bance. Different kinds of a c t i v i t i e s were planned for the 1953 25 campaign. F i r s t of a l l , study sessions were set up for cadres from February 20 to March 20 for additional indoctrina-t i o n . During the campaign, propaganda was c a r r i e d out i n fac-t o r i e s , schools, governmental agencies and groups. Volunteers, women's and youth's organizations were mobilized to a s s i s t the task of implementation. Apart from making use of radio broad-cast and newspapers, d i f f e r e n t sorts of mass meetings, such as people's representatives meetings, speak-bitterness meetings, and so on, were held. ThejEople, p a r t i c u l a r l y women, were asked to speak up about t h e i r discontent with t h e i r marriages; the accused were c r i t i c i z e d i n public; people were encouraged to memorize the Marriage Law and to apply i t to t h e i r own domestic s i t u a t i o n s . In Canton c i t y , one of the favourite devices was the organization of study groups based on the neighbourhood u n i t . This was further divided into mother-in-121 law groups, daughter-in-law groups, husband groups, etc. to 2 6 study the Law and to discuss marital and family problems. "Model" families were chosen to represent the success of the new marriage system. Husband and wife, mother and daughter-in-law were asked to promote harmonious relationships and the establishment of the new family. Workers sometimes helped i n d i v i d u a l families to hold meetings to set up agreements which served to guarantee the harmony of the family and the development of production for the state. The Marriage Law implementation campaign i n 1953 was the most pervasive one in Kwangtung. In most major areas, i t was a central concern of the l o c a l authorities during the months of February and March. Systematic reports from d i f f e -rent l o c a l i t i e s and plans from the Pr o v i n c i a l Committee for the Marriage Law Implementation were released i n the o f f i c i a l press p r a c t i c a l l y everyday. After A p r i l , the movement again gradually subsided. The campaign o f f i c i a l l y concluded in the beginning of May, when Peking announced the end of the Marriage 27 Law implementation movement. It was reported that freedom of marriage was becoming a s o c i a l custom, which l e d to increased productive power of the people. In Kwangtung, i t was suggested that from then on, the Marriage Law enforcement would be a 28 constant task of the government. With t h i s note, the 122 campaign i n Kwangtung came to a close. Concluding Remarks The implementation of the Marriage Law represented a serious e f f o r t on the part of the Chinese Communist leader-ship to e f f e c t changes i n the family and marriage systems. Examination of the d i r e c t i v e s and other o f f i c i a l documents from Peking reveals some basic contradictions i n the govern-ment's decision i n t h i s p o l i c y . While on the one hand, the CCP wished to disrupt the t r a d i t i o n a l family i n s t i t u t i o n so as to eliminate the " e v i l s " i n i t , on the other, a r e l a t i v e l y moderate approach was adopted i n implementing the Law. The disruptive e f f e c t s brought about by the f i r s t two attempts of enforcement were, as indicated by l a t e r documents, some-what unexpected. In the t h i r d campaign, the Central Govern-ment t r i e d to r e c t i f y t h i s by stressing the harmonious aspects of family r e l a t i o n s . The problem was seen as one a r i s i n g p r i -marily out of misunderstanding of the Law and incorrect hand-l i n g of matrimonial cases by l o c a l o f f i c i a l s and cadres. Owing to the lack of experience in implementing a p o l i c y on a national scale, the Central Government allowed a great amount of leeway for l o c a l governments. Thus, from the d i r e c t i v e s issued by the Peking government, d e t a i l e d plans for implemen-tat i o n cannot be determined. Instructions for the three 123 Marriage Law campaigns were general. To f i n d out how family and marriage reforms were c a r r i e d out i n practice, we must take a closer look at a s p e c i f i c pro-vince. Kwangtung. was chosen as a case study f i r s t l y because of i t s r e l a t i v e l y young age in Communist history. Secondly, i t s location at the most southern part of China f a r away from central control and with i t s own p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s made i t e s p e c i a l l y problematic for the implementation of the MarriageLaw. Thirdly, while the Marriage Law and i t s implementation has been studied in some d e t a i l (see Madian, 1962; Meijer, 1971), Kwangtung i s a poorly explored area. Previous sections on the Marriage Law campaigns i n Kwangtung bring to l i g h t the turmoil of the province at the time of takeover. The f i r s t two e f f o r t s of implementation were characterized by chaos and lack of co-ordination.It wasnotuntil 1953, when the p o l i t i c a l climate of the province was somewhat more sett l e d , that propaganda campaign could be carried^out more e f f e c t i v e l y . From the Kwangtung example, some of the ways i n which the Chinese government effected a p o l i c y can be discovered. It can also be inferred that the imple-it mentation- -of the MarriageLcw was c a r r i e d out in s i m i l a r ways in other marginal areas. We have seen that, both on the national and p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l s , the focus on the Marriage Law and family p o l i c y appeared, 124 disappeared, and reappeared. Sometimes the implementation campaign was ca r r i e d out on i t s own, and sometimes i n con-junction with other movements. When or why the CCP decided to launch.a Marriage Law campaign i s not e n t i r e l y clear, but from the example of Kwangtung, i t i s apparent that the Marriage Law was both used as an instrument to f a c i l i t a t e other s o c i a l t r a n s i t i o n s and as a guide to other movements. Moreover, i t is important to note that the Marriage Law movement was not the only means to ef f e c t family reform. There were other processes, 29 such as the organization of peasant women for spring planting 30 and i n land reform, to absorb women into the productive forces. These processes had v i t a l implications for changes i n the role and s i t u a t i o n of women, and therefore had i n d i r e c t influences on the structure and organization of the family. They had helped the implementation of the Marriage Law i n si g n i f i c a n t ways. 125 FOOTNOTES - CHAPTER 5 "'"The information of the d i f f e r e n t campaigns mentioned here i s obtained from Vogel (1969). 2 Nan-fang jih-pao, March 11, 1950. 3 Nan-fang jih-pao. A p r i l 27, 1950 and May 1, 1950. 4 Nan-fang jih-pao. May 24, 1950. 5Nan-fang jih-pao, A p r i l 23, 1950. 6 Nan!-fang jih-pao, July 7, 1950, p. 7. 7 Nan-fang jih-pao, June 30, 1950. From t h i s time onwards, the land reform campaign became the subject of constant d i s -cussion of the o f f i c i a l press i n Kwangtung. 8 For example. Nan-fang jih-pao, November 3, 1950. 9 Nan-fang jih-pao, July 4, 1951, p. 2. """Si an-fang jih-pao, July 5, 1951, p. 1. "'""''Nan-fang jih-pao, August 5, 1951, p. 3. 12 Nan-fang jih-pao, October 9, 1951, p. 3. 13 Nan-fang jih-pao, August 5, 1951, p. 3. 14 Nan-fang jih-pao, September 5, 1951, p. 3. """^N an-fang jih-pao, October 9, 1951, p. 3. 16 For example, Meng Hsing-ho was sentenced to ten years im-' prisonment for causing the death of his wife as a res u l t of maltreatment (Nan-fang jih-pao, October 13, 1951); Lu Ta-yeh was charged for murder for beating his wife to death (Nan-fang  jih-pao, October 16, 1951); Wang Woo Received his death sen-tence for k i l l i n g his wife (Nan-fang jih-pao, November 27, 1951), 17 Nan-fang jih-pao, November 7, 1951, p. 1. 126 18 Nan-fang jih-Pdo, November 19, 1951, p. 3. 19 Nan-fang .jih-pao, November 26, 1951, p. 1. 20 Nan-fang jih-pao, December 12, 1951, p. 3. 21 During the 1953 campaign, the Marriage Law was a subject of great attention. Material, such as case studies, results of "spot-test", etc., were released v i r t u a l l y everyday i n the p r o v i n c i a l press. Since the information below i s obtained from many d i f f e r e n t a r t i c l e s i n the newspaper during t h i s period, I only give dates of the more important events. 22 Nan-fang jih-pao, January 12, 1953, p. 1. 23 Nan-fang jih-pao, January 10, 1953, p. 1. 24 Nan-fang jih-pao, January 13, 1953, p. 1. 25 Nan-fang jih-pao, January 13, 1953, p. 1 and Febuary 3, 1953, p. 1. 2 6 "Canton under the influence of the Marriage Law", Tzu-yu chen-hsien, January 10, 1955, p. 5182-5183 (URI C l i p p i n g s ) . 27 Nan-fang jih-pao. May 7, 1953, p. 1. 28 Nan-fang jih-pao. May 9, 1953, p. 3. 29 Nan-fang jih-pao, A p r i l 6, 1950, p. 2. 30 Nan-fang jih-pao, December 20, 1950, p. 5. 127 CHAPTER 6 SOME ASPECTS OF CHANGE IN THE CHINESE FAMILY Introduction Having examined the Marriage Law implementation in our previous discussion, the next l o g i c a l step i s to assess the impact of the marriage reform on the Chinese family. Some people believe that i t i s d i f f i c u l t to draw any conclusion about what the f i n a l form of the family i n China w i l l be, because i t i s s t i l l i n the process of transformation (for example, Meijer, 1971: 2). This argument i s t h e o r e t i c a l l y and empirically unsound, because i t presupposes that there i s a form of family which i s stagnant and w i l l never change. It i s worth pointing out that, l i k e s o c i a l change, families the world over are i n a constant state of f l u x . To say that there i s one f i n a l or ultimate form of family i s to say that the study of family change i s meaningless. In the case of China, espe c i a l l y , the process of change i s more important and inte r e s t i n g . Although i t i s true that we cannot predict what the Chinese family w i l l be l i k e i n the future, i n any case, by using scattered information which has been released from China and research on the Chinese family i n Hong Kong, t h i s chapter hopes to speculate on some changes which have taken 128 place i n the Chinese family, and the degree to which the marriage reform has affected i t . The tremendous e f f o r t exerted by the Chinese leadership in propagating the new marriage concept could not have been t o t a l l y in vain i n introducing a new family and marriage system i n China. On the other hand, two thousand years of t r a d i t i o n could not be expected to crumble at once despite d r a s t i c p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l changes. But to what extent has the Chinese family altered? This i s the question which asks for an answer here. The family i n China today i n an interplay of t r a d i t i o n a l customs and new prac t i c e s . The concept of freedom of marriage, so persuasive among the younger generation during the "family revolution", was further p u b l i c i z e d and extended to a larger population through repeated campaigns at enforcing the Marriage Law. Understandably, t h i s idea, together with the concept of the New Democratic marriage system, found wide support and sympathy among the young people and women, the t r a d i t i o n a l l y most suppressed groups. This was evidenced by the high divorce rate which continuned to the end of the f i f t i e s . At f i r s t , the government took t h i s phenomenon as a good sign of the emancipation of women. It was believed that women were no longer ignorant of t h e i r new l e g a l status and were assorting 129 t h e i r new r i g h t . However, gradually the Chinese government noticed the development of a new phenomenon. A report from Heilungkiang province in 1957 disclosed that out of a l l the matrimonial cases handled i n the people's court, ninety percent were divorce suits.''" (The report d i d not specify the time period or d i s t r i c t within which t h i s figure was calculated.) It pointed out three things: (a) Most divorce suits were requested by people under t h i r t y years old, e s p e c i a l l y by those between the ages twenty and twenty-five. This indicated that most of the people applying for divorce were married a f t e r the promulgation of the Marriage Law. (b) According to the o f f i c i a l records, the marriages of most divorcees were based on free choice of partners and free w i l l of both p a r t i e s . These marriages were formally registered by the people's governments. (c) From an economic standpoint, most divorcees were f i n a n c i a l l y independent, and were members of a g r i c u l t u r a l cooperatives. This meant that marital disputes were not l i k e l y to aris e out 2 of f i n a n c i a l reasons. Apart from in d i c a t i n g that divorce was becoming a problem for the Chinese leadership, the report also pointed to the fact that the new marriage arrangement based on free choice of 130 partners had become increasingly popular among younger people. In the s i x t i e s , a new set of questions concerning love and marriage evolved. With the spread of "free love", many young people were more open about t h e i r love a f f a i r s . The problems which they encountered during courtship were not un-common to what young people experience in Western society. For instance, a high school g i r l wrote to the editor of a newspaper expressing her d i s t r e s s brought about by having two 3 boyfriends. A r t i c l e s such as "How to handle one's own marri-age c o r r e c t l y ? " were common in the readers' column in the 4 press. These examples serve to demonstrate that most people had more or less accepted the new ideology by t h i s time, and that free choice of partners i n marriage was the norm among young people. Meanwhile, l i t t l e was mentioned about parental interference i n or compulsion of marriage, which was very pre-valent e a r l i e r . It may be assumed that, even i f parents d i s -agreed with the general trend at t h i s time, at least they ex-pressed l i t t l e overt objections. From t h i s kind of evidence, i t can be i n f e r r e d that free marriages are more prevalent to-day. On the other side of the same coin, however, t r a d i t i o n perseveres even to t h i s day. Viol a t i o n s of the Marriage Law were s t i l l reported as l a t e as the mid- and l a t e - f i f t i e s . ^ 131 To be sure, c h i l d betrothal, concubinage and polygamy had been gradually reduced, but the oppression of women and i n t e r -ference with marriage had not completely disappeared. In some l o c a l i t i e s , lovers were forced to commit suicide together because of parental and t h i r d person interference. During t h i s period, a r t i c l e s were published in the o f f i c i a l press a l l over China asking parents not to i n t e r f e r e with t h e i r 7 children's marriage. S i m i l a r l y , requests for money and/or g g i f t s upon marriage were equally prevalent. Whereas parental interference had decreased greatly i n the s i x t i e s , the majority of the population turned a deaf ear to governmental propaganda 9 for reducing expenses pertaining to marriage. So, i n the Chinese family today, which elements are more pervasive, the t r a d i t i o n a l or the new? It i s beyond the scope of t h i s work to provide a comprehensive picture of the family in contemporary China, nor i s i t possible to systematically describe a l l variables pertaining to the Chinese family p a r t l y because of the tremendous regional differences i n customs and practices. But, by s i n g l i n g out three areas of investigation c l o s e l y related to the family, we w i l l attempt to make some generalizations about how the juxtaposition of the o l d and the new i s at work. 132 The Position of Women One aspect which sees the most fundamental change i s the position of women both inside and outside the home. A l -though since the "family revolution", women had begun to de-mand for changes with regard to t h e i r low s o c i a l and leg a l status, t h i s came only from the educated minority. The p r i n c i p l e of sex equality, while l e g a l l y recognized, was never enforced i n practic e . The Communist government i s the f i r s t government i n China to ensure the execution of t h i s p r i n c i p l e . The promulgation of the Marriage Law and i t s subsequent implementation c l e a r l y demonstrate the e f f o r t of the Communist leadership to protect women's rights and to promote t h e i r s o c i a l and leg a l status. But only gaining equal rights i s not enough. Women i n the new society are expected to stand up and speak for themselves. They are asked to give up, in part, t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l source of security, namely, the family,"^ and to put t h e i r f a i t h i n the new government. Of course, the p r i n c i p l e of sex equality cannot be re a l i z e d unless there are other changes i n the new s o c i a l order which enable women to be independent from t h e i r male counterparts. In t h i s connection, the Marriage Law and Land Reform Act established women's leg a l right to own property. The following example i l l u s t r a t e s how t h i s can d r a s t i c a l l y 133 undermine the t r a d i t i o n a l hierarchy of the family. When land was d i s t r i b u t e d to the poor peasants, the name of women also appeared on the c e r t i f i -cates. This enabled women to stand up to the treats of family heads who were used to saying, " I f you don't obey, you won't get anything to eat." Now the women would re t o r t , "You can't do that. Now I have a re a l share i n everything in t h i s family." It was the beginning of eco-nomic equality for women.H The Communist government has also made a tremendous e f f o r t to draw women into the labour force. With the opportunity for employment outside the home and with a steady .income of her own, a woman i s i n a better p o s i t i o n to bargain with her husband's family should c o n f l i c t s a r i s e . Nowadays, most women in China are engaged i n some sort of productive a c t i v i t y outside the family. The Chinese authority boasts that men and women now enjoy equal pay for equal work. This i s true i n urban areas, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the technical and professional sectors. Women who are professionals such as doctors, and who work i n fac t o r i e s and government o f f i c e s do get equal pay i f they do the same kind of work as men. In r u r a l areas, however, even the Chinese leaders have to 12 admit that t h i s p o l i c y i s sometimes less p r a c t i s a b l e . Wages i n the communes are calculated according to work points, and one c r i t e r i o n of a l l o c a t i n g work points i s whether the 134 work i s heavy or not (see G. Johnson, 1973:35). Owing to the l i m i t a t i o n of t h e i r physical conditions, women are usually assigned l i g h t e r tasks. Heavy menial work i s usually the job of the men, who natur a l l y gain more work points (also see Parish, 1974:5). Furthermore, the opportunity for employment for women i s c l o s e l y linked to the demand of the economy. When employment drops, women workers are the f i r s t to be l a i d o f f ( S i del, 1973:23). When the employment rate dropped i n 1957, for example, women were encouraged to return to house-hold labour. At t h i s time, the Chinese leadership argued that since the society was not yet at the stage where housework could be t o t a l l y automated, i t was important for women to f i r s t look a f t e r t h e i r homes before engaging i n outside a c t i v i t i e s . Household labour was also a d i r e c t contribution to the society. With the economic base taken out of the family and with the i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of married women, the p a t r i a r c h a l lineage system as the backbone of the family organization i s weakened. The c r i t e r i a for s e l e c t i n g marriage partners i s on the basis of l e v e l of p o l i t i c a l awareness and compatibility i n working together. Mutual a f f e c t i o n and respect i s what governs husband wife r e l a t i o n s h i p . With these emphases, household a c t i v i t i e s become less segregated. In the c i t i e s , i t i s becoming more and more common for husband and wife to share the household 135 chores."1'^ In the more tradition-bound countryside, however, the o l d pattern of p a t r i a r c h a l d i v i s i o n of labour with women doing most of the housework i s not much modified. A group of v i s i t o r s observed that i n Tachai commune, the women d i d the cooking at mealtimes, but stayed i n the kitchen when the men and guests ate."""^ Nevertheless, a great e f f o r t was expended to free women from the burden of household chores. Now, many tasks are taken care of through c o l l e c t i v e f a c i l i t i e s such as dining h a l l s , kindergartens, nurseries and day-care centres. In c i t i e s , residents' committees operate service stations to complement the state-run services. . There are also neibourhood nurseries set up and run by older women. In communes, there are f a c i l i t i e s to ease the work of women, but i n the countryside, these f a c i l i t i e s are generally simpler. In a commune outside Shanghai, for instance, the nursery consists of only one room, with l i t t l e i n the way of equip-ment (Sidel, 1973:124). In cases where there are r e t i r e d grandparents residing i n the same household, they also share with the housework and look a f t e r the children while the parents are away during the day. A s p e c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of women's l i b e r a t i o n i n China i s that i t i s not seen as a struggle between the sexes. Liberation does not only mean sexual freedom, but also, 136 economic and p o l i t i c a l freedom. The women's movement i s not viewed as the antagonism between men and women, but i s sub-sumed under class struggle. Male supemacy i s an element of the t r a d i t i o n a l feudal system. Women themselves believe that equality of the sexes can only be gained a f t e r the elimination of feudal behaviour and thoughts. It i s not only equality i n the home, but also i n p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l spheres. The Chinese commonly hold that "women's l i b e r a t i o n and welfare can be won gradually only a f t e r revolutionary p o l i t i c a l power i s established, the pos i t i o n of the working people raised, 17 production increased, and l i f e improved". Marriage Practices Several aspects of the t r a d i t i o n a l marriage system were attacked by the Communist leadership. The Marriage Law pro-claimed that no compulsion or interference must be used i n arranging marriage; that free choice of partners was to be the basis of marriage; that concubinage, polygamy and c h i l d bethrothal were abolished; and that the request for g i f t s or money was prohibited. As mentioned before, a f t e r repeated campaigns of propaganda and indoctrination, some of these practices had dwindled. The marriage system i s a mixture of old habits and new 137 customs i n contemporary Chinese society. Marriage practices vary from province to province and from c i t i e s to countryside. Even the average ages for marriage fluctuate a great deal from one region to the other. In China, late marriage i s o f f i c i a l l y advocated for several reasons. It i s a form of b i r t h or population control, and pre-marital sex, though occasionally occurs, i s gr e a t l y discouraged. The Chinese leadership also wants young people to spend t h e i r early years serving the country and gaining a deeper understanding of i t s needs before s e t t l i n g down. Moreover, i n view of the fact that young people with strong personal attachments are more reluc-tant to go to the countryside or to leave t h e i r homes to work in other places, early courtship or marriage i s not encouraged. Generally speaking, people i n c i t i e s tend to marry l a t e r , around the ages of twenty-four for women and twenty-six for men (Sidel, 1972: 47-48). In the countryside, where early marriage has always been the desired pattern, people marry much e a r l i e r , usually around twenty for women and s l i g h t l y l a t e r for men. In a few v i l l a g e s i n Kwangtung, late marriage i s vigorously espoused, and e f f o r t s are made to dissuade young couples from getting, married so soon, but i f the couple i n s i s t , they are permitted to be married. In some v i l l a g e s where commune o f f i c e r s refuse to r e g i s t e r the young couple, 138 they simply go home and marry i n a family ceremony, which i s s t i l l regarded by the v i l l a g e r s as the proper recognized procedure of contracting a marriage. Some get married i n the t r a d i t i o n a l way and re g i s t e r t h e i r marriage when they come of age a few years l a t e r (Parish & Whyte, 1974: 5). The idea of "love marriage" i s also subject to various 18 interpretations. In the c i t i e s , i t i s easier for the kind of courtship pattern similar to that in Western society to develop because there are more opportunities for young people of the opposite sex to meet one another. They work i n the same fa c t o r i e s , p a r t i c i p a t e i n the same study sessions, and get together to discuss various problems. Courtship may develop out of these casual meetings, which eventually leads to marriage. In r u r a l China, where many a c t i v i t i e s are s t i l l segregated and where the influence of t r a d i t i o n i s s t i l l strong, i t i s more d i f f i c u l t for t h i s type of "love marriage" to occur. While the absolute b l i n d marriage arranged e n t i r e l y by parents and elders i s indeed a thing belonging to the past, marriage i s s t i l l something which involves decisions and opinions of both generations. Since the chance for young people to court each other i s li m i t e d in a v i l l a g e setting, "love marriage" takes on a d i f f e r e n t form. When a young man notices a young woman, instead of dating her, he may just go 1 3 9 to his parents and ask them to make inq u i r i e s about the woman on his behalf. The parents may inquire about her and her family through friends, r e l a t i v e s , or i n some cases, through a marriage go-between. If the woman and her family also approve of the young man's background, then talks about engagement and the wedding ceremony may proceed. In cases where a young man or woman i s unable to f i n d a suitable partner, a go-between i s employed. Although working as a professional go-between i s no longer le g a l i n China, some women i n the v i l l a g e s t i l l take on t h i s role i n t h e i r spare time. In other instances, r e l a t i v e s or friends who know of pot e n t i a l candidates are asked to as s i s t i n the matter. The job of the marriage arranger i s much the same as i n the past. She i s responsible for making inquires and conveying information to and from the poten t i a l bride's and groom's fam i l i e s . When a suitable candidate i s picked, a preliminary meeting i s arranged for the families of the prospective bride and groom to meet. If t h i s meeting proves s a t i s f a c t o r y , then inquires w i l l be made about the f i n a n c i a l positions and per-s o n a l i t i e s of the bride and groom by both f a m i l i e s . Usually, the g i r l ' s family i s most interested i n whether t h e i r daughter w i l l be provided for and well treated, whereas the groom's family i s most concerned with whether the bride i s healthy 140 and even-tempered. Nowadays, the consent of the younger generation i s required i f he or she has not already taken the i n i t i a t i v e , and both generations have to agree on a marriage. Normally, parents no longer force the children to marry against t h e i r w i l l , but parental opinions s t i l l have a great influence in deciding the choice of mate. Marriage i n contemporary China, e s p e c i a l l y i n r u r a l Kwangtung, i s s t i l l something which e n t a i l s considerable expenditure and ceremony (see Parish & Whyte, 1974). After both families have expressed approval for the f i r s t meeting, negotiations about bride p r i c e and so on may commence. Although the number of items required of the bride p r i c e has reduced, i t s t i l l constitutes a great expense for the groom's family. When the amount of bride price i s agreed upon, an engagement i s announced, and a wedding date i s set. As i n r u r a l Taiwan (see Wolf, 1972), aft e r engagement the couple is given an opportunity to get to know each other better. It i s s t i l l common to hold a feast for the wedding, but the wedding ceremony i s much s i m p l i f i e d . Instead of being c a r r i e d to the groom's family by a sedan chair, the bride now uses her b i c y c l e and she i s accompanied by her friends and s i s t e r s . She usually arrives at the groom's family before the feast. The rest of the day i s marked by f e s t i v i t y i n the groom's 141 family, which continues u n t i l the middle of the night, when the excitement of the feast eventually dies down. While the r e l i g i o u s or r i t u a l i s t i c s i g nificance of the wedding ceremony has l o s t i t s importance, the other aspects, somewhat modified in appearance, s t i l l p e r s i s t to t h i s day. After marriage, the new couple continues to reside with the groom's parents. This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y true i n the country-side where the family i s s t i l l the most basic unit of pro-duction. Sometimes, a new room or even a new house i s b u i l t for the new couple, but t h i s i s rare (see Parish & Whyte, 1974). In any event, the couple remain close to the groom's family. Despite the attack of the Chinese leadership on the t r a d i -t i o n a l p a t r i a r c h a l system, t h i s p a t r i l o c a l residence pattern, whereby the woman i s separated from her own kinsmen i n an a l i e n environment, c e r t a i n l y remains unchanged in r u r a l China. Toward a Western Nuclear Family? (Family Patterns i n Con- temporary China) While there have been occasional rumours about d r a s t i c changes made by the Chinese Communist Party regarding family l i f e and household arrangement, the Chinese leadership has not attempted to e f f e c t any major reform apart from the i n i t i a l push a f t e r the promulgation of the Marriage Law. During the communization of r u r a l China around 1958, talks about the 142 t o t a l a b o l i t i o n of the family as a s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n were heard, but the Chinese authority had made no o f f i c i a l state-ment on the subject (Meijer, 1971: 79). By now, i t has become obvious that although there were s l i g h t deviations from the main trend, the major dominant p o l i c y i s to ret a i n the family as the basic unit of production. Apart from the proclamation of abolishing the "feudal marriage system" and eliminating "feudal" thoughts/behaviour, the Chinese themselves have remained s i l e n t about e f f e c t i n g other changes i n the family. The Chinese leadership aimed to break down the pat r i a r c h a l system of the family organization, but i t had not made any statement with respect to changes i n household arrangements. The Marriage Law made i t quite e x p l i c i t that c desertion of parents by children or vice versa i s not the morale of the new society. This kind of behaviour i s condemned. An a r t i c l e published i n a woman's magazine revealed the maltreatment of an aged mother-in-law by her daughter-in-law. The story i s about a young woman, Chao, who had to return to work afte r g i v i n g b i r t h to a c h i l d . Since she could not look a f t e r the c h i l d during the day, Chao's husband made arrangements to bring his mother to the c i t y to take care of the c h i l d . Chao resented the fact that her mother-in-law was l i v i n g with them, and she started to quarrel 143 b i t t e r l y with her mother-in-law. Eventually, her mother-in-law was forced to return to the countryside. Chao's behaviour aroused the disapproval of the authors, who wrote to the 19 magazine to make public her deed and c r i t i c i z e her. Indeed, from various publications i n the o f f i c i a l press, i t i s clea r i 20 that r e t i r e d parents normally l i v e with t h e i r married son(s). Similar to the t r a d i t i o n a l family, disputes between daughter-and parents-in-laws are a constant source of tension i n the contemporary Chinese family. V i s i t o r s of China were t o l d that c r i t i c i s m about the a c t i v i t i e s of woman a c t i v i s t s came not from t h e i r husbands, but from t h e i r more old-fashioned parents-in-law, who l i v e i n the same house, and they frequently 21 exhorted the daughters-in-law to keep the ol d v i r t u e s . Promoting the good r e l a t i o n s h i p of mother- and daughter-in-22 laws i s one of the major concerns of the Chinese leadership, in d i c a t i n g i t s desire to preserve the old family pattern. To be sure, the conjugal family consisting of husband, wife and children, s t r u c t u r a l l y s i m i l a r to the Western type, 23 i s found i n China today, primarily i n urban areas. On the other hand, larger extended households are s t i l l present. A group of v i s i t o r s noted a household of an old couple who l i v e d with t h e i r four sons and t h e i r wives and~„children of 24 t h e i r sons i n Hongqiao Commune outside Shanghai. So, what 144 i s the "normal" household pattern i n China? From the available information, i t i s clear that family patterns have not modified d r a s t i c a l l y from patterns i n t r a d i t i o n a l China. As i n the "family revolution", conjugal families are prevalent mainly in c i t i e s . In the countryside, although the economic basis for the extended family has been destroyed by land reform, the family remains an important i n s t i t u t i o n in Chinese society, and i t i s common for three generations to l i v e together (see Sid e l , 1973: 104; Parish & Whyte, 1974; Parish, 1974). But contrary to the t r a d i t i o n a l system, the allegiance of an i n -d i v i d u a l i s not f i r s t and foremost to his family. His a l l e -giance i s divided between his work, his family, the state, his study group, and so on. Moreover, certa i n changes have taken place in intergenerational relationships. With the emphases on women's rights and love marriage, the parents, e s p e c i a l l y the husband's parents who usually l i v e with the couple, have l o s t much of t h e i r former authority over the control of t h e i r sons and daughters-in-law. However, be-cause the mother (daughter-in-law) leaves home during the day to p a r t i c i p a t e i n productive labour, the role of the grand-parents i n rearing the grandchildren has become a l l the more important. Although there may be a cer t a i n degree of tension between the older and younger generations, so long as t h e i r 145 security and personal freedom are not threatened, i t may be expected that they can reside together in r e l a t i v e harmony. Neighbourhood organizations, women's groups, and so on, also help to ensure that minor disputes do not become open clashes to disturb the s t a b i l i t y of the family. It i s obvious that many t r a d i t i o n a l elements are s t i l l preserved in the Chinese family. Change in the family i s slow not only because of the pervasive influences of t r a d i t i o n , but also because of the emphasis on education and persuasion i n -stead of coercion by the Chinese leadership. Furthermore, t r a d i t i o n i n r u r a l China p e r s i s t s because of three kinds of s t r u c t u r a l arrangements which favour the extended or j o i n t household pattern and i t s associated practices (see Parish, 1974). F i r s t , although the household no longer holds land, i t i s s t i l l an important unit for economic production through cooperation of members with d i f f e r e n t s k i l l s . Second, the welfare system i s based on the family. Third, s t r i c t migration laws keep young adults away from the c i t i e s i n t h e i r home v i l l a g e s , close to t h e i r parents ( i b i d ) . It may be noted that the income of the family i s very often related to i t s hand/mouth r a t i o as i n the t r a d i t i o n a l family organization, because wages are allocated 25 to the family rather than the i n d i v i d u a l . Hence, having more adult family members means that there are more people engaging 146 in productive labour, thereby gaining more work points. Con-versely, since income i s d i s t r i b u t e d to each family according to the number of work points received, i t i s an advantage to have more adults, e s p e c i a l l y male, in the house in r e l a t i o n to the number of mouths fed. Of course, women can also par-t i c i p a t e in .production to earn work points, but as mentioned before, women usually gain less work points than men because of the nature of the work they are assigned to do. The more important factor for favouring male children i s because the p a t r i l o c a l residence pattern common in China today s t i l l means that daughters w i l l ultimately leave the household for t h e i r husbands' f a m i l i e s . Only men, who can bring women into the household, are i t s permanent members (Parish, 1974). This kind of household arrangement, with at least three generations l i v i n g together, i s most advantageous to the well-being of the family. Moreover, the welfare p o l i c y based on the " f i v e gua-rantees" system strongly encourages parents to r e l y on t h e i r children i n t h e i r o l d age (for d e t a i l , see Parish, 1974). Except i n rare circumstances, welfare i s dependent almost exclusively upon the family. F a c i l i t i e s for o l d people, such as o l d people's homes, are established only for those who have 2 6 no children that w i l l take care of them. For those who have children, the government assumes that they w i l l be sup-147 ported by t h e i r children. Further, while c h i l d care f a c i l i -t i e s have increased i n recent years, grandparents s t i l l play a major role in looking a f t e r the children when the parents are at work. This l i v i n g arrangement enables the ordinary peasant household to get the best of both worlds, so to speak. Summing up, then, far from moving toward a nuclear type family, owing to the s t r u c t u r a l constraints imposed on the present day family, family pattern i n China today i s pre-dominantly j o i n t or extended. With decreasing mortality rate and increasing s o c i a l and economic s t a b i l i t y , i t may be assumed that the old ideal of the big family can be more e a s i l y rea-l i z e d than i n t r a d i t i o n a l times. Although conjugal families are more numerous in urban areas, they are by no means the majority. Indeed, the CCP only aims at introducing c e r t a i n changes with regard to family relations in the t r a d i t i o n a l system; there i s l i t t l e i n d i c a t i o n for the a b o l i t i o n of the e x i s t i n g pattern of household arrangements. More l i k e l y , the Chinese leadership wishes to use i t s strengths to further the development of the state. 148 FOOTNOTES - CHAPTER 6 ^"Kuang-ming j ih-pao, Peking, March 12, 1957 (URI C l i p p i n g s ) . 2 Ibid. 3 Nan-fang ..jih-pao, March 13, 1962 (URI Cl i p p i n g s ) . 4 Chung-kuo Ch'ing-nien-pao, February 22, 1962 (URI Clippings) ^For example, "The anti-Marriage Law phenomenon i s very serious i n t h i s c i t y " , Kuang-chou .jih-pao, December 2, 1956 (URI C l i p p i n g s ) . g Jen-min jih-pao, January 9, 1957 (URI Cl i p p i n g s ) . 7 For instance, Ch'enq-pu-pao, Hunan, February 11, 1957 (URI Clippings); C h i - l i n jih-pao. May 7, 1957 and May 24, 1957 (URI C l i p p i n g s ^ C h i - l i n jih-pao, March 20, 1957 (URI Cl i p p i n g s ) . 9 For example, Chung-kuo Ch'ing-nien-pao, January 4, 1962 (URI C l i p p i n g s ) ; Kung-j en .j ih-pao, August 25, 1962 (URI C l i p -pings ). "^Paradoxically, although i t has always been argued that women occupied a very low pos i t i o n i n the family i n t r a d i t i o n a l China, i t was, nevertheless, t h e i r primary source of security. Outside the home, i t was p r a c t i c a l l y impossible for a woman to gain a l i v e l i h o o d , whereas within the home, she was at least guaranteed a l i v i n g . By producing offspring, moreover, she could expect her s p i r i t to be reverenced a f t e r death. Under the new regime, however, women were t o l d that the family i s only of secondary importance, the development of the state being the most important. They were asked to oppose the o l d family system, to engage i n production outside the home, and to f i g h t for t h e i r rights within i t . While t h i s might bring them a better p o s i t i o n i n the long-run, i t can be expected that at the outset, women must f e e l t h e i r security being threatened. This also explains why many women were reluctant to accept the new marriage p o l i c y i n the beginning. 149 1 1 C h i n a Reconstructs, V o l . 24, No. 6 (June, 1975), p. 16. 12 See China Reconstructs, i b i d , p. 11. 13 See, for example, Chung-kuo fu-ntt. No. 5, 1957, p. 1-2. 14 An example i s given i n China Reconstructs, op. c i t . , p. 17-18. "^Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, China! Inside the  People's Republic! (A Bantam Book, 1972), p. 283. 16 China Reconstructs, op. c i t . . p. 11. 17 China Reconstructs, op. c i t . , p. 4. 18 Unless otherwise stated, the information on marriage practices for the next three paragraphs i s obtained from Parish & Whyte (n.d.). 19 Chung-kuo fu-ntt. No. 5, 1956,. p. 18-19. 20 For instance, Chung-kuo fu-ntt. No. 2, 1957, p. 8. 21 Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, China! Inside the  People's Republic! op. c i t . , p. 281. 22 Chung-kuo fu-ntt. No. 4, 1959, p. 8. 23 The home of Meng Hsien-tsung and Chang Chin-lu of Peking i s an example (see China Reconstructs, Vol. 24, No. 6, p. 17-18). 24 Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, China! Inside the  People's Republic! op. c i t . , p. 281. 25 Personal communication with Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, who has done fieldwork on a commune in Kwangtung. 2 6 Personal communication with Dr. Elizabeth Johnson. 150 CHAPTER 7 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION This study has attempted to examine the Marriage Law and i t s implementation i n China, and some of i t s e f f e c t s upon the Chinese family. The work started with a discussion of the h i s t o r i c a l situations of the Chinese family organization and the changes which occurred before Liberation i n 1949. Then an attempt was made to examine the scope and purpose of the Marriage Law promulgated by the Communist government i n May, 1950, which l e d to a survey of i t s implementation as mani-fested by three major nationwide campaigns up to 1953. In order to discover how a p o l i c y from the Central Government was interpreted and c a r r i e d out by lower l e v e l o f f i c i a l s , Kwangtung was selected as a case study. Chapter Five- aimed at g i v i n g a more d e t a i l e d investigation of the Marriage Law enforcement i n Kwangtung province. Although i t i s beyond the scope of the present study to give a comprehensive account of family change i n contemporary China, we have t r i e d here to look at three aspects of the Chinese family i n order to assess the impact of the marriage reform i n China. The po s i t i o n of women, the "new" marriage system, and the household patterns were discussed respectively. 151 Throughout the essay, i t was argued that, while several massive campaigns were launched for the enforcement of the Marriage Law, the attack on the family system was more apparent than r e a l . But the Law d i d serve as an important t o o l for the i n s t i l l a t i o n of a new ideology into the masses, that i s , the conditioning of s e l f to a new s o c i a l morality, and the c u l -t i v a t i o n of the family as a socio-economic c e l l of the state. Contrary to the views of many scholars on family change i n China, the Chinese leadership d i d not. aim at the a b o l i t i o n of the family i n s t i t u t i o n . In fact, the Marriage Law was the main raison d'etre for the continuing existence of the family. In view of the present development of China, the elimination of the family would not be a p r a c t i c a l choice. Following the same l i n e of argument, the i s o l a t i o n of the extended family into small nuclear units i s not a sensible arrangement on prag-matic grounds either, owing to certain s t r u c t u r a l l i m i t a t i o n s inherent i n the e x i s t i n g s o c i a l order. Although China i s a country undergoing rapid i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , unlike most developing countries, the Chinese developmental strategy i s decentralization rather than c e n t r a l i z a t i o n . By moving industries to the countryside, close to the a g r i c u l t u r a l base, the Chinese are . able to promote a more balanced development of industry and agriculture, while at the same time putting a brake on the 152 uncontrolled rural-urban migration common to many modernizing nations. Further, the Chinese leadership also avoids the problems of labour turnover, and those pertaining to migrant labour and transient workers (see, for example, Nash, 1960). The extended household structure i n China does not witness gradual d i s i n t e g r a t i o n i n spite of rapid economic development both because of the nature of the Chinese society and by the design of the Communist leadership. The p o l i c y of decen-t r a l i z a t i o n enables the t r a d i t i o n a l kinship network to remain inta c t , which f a c i l i t a t e s a smoother t r a n s i t i o n from an i n d i -genous a g r i c u l t u r a l society to a modern i n d u s t r i a l i z e d one. Although some elements of the t r a d i t i o n a l family have changed, the strength of the system i s u t i l i z e d by the Chinese leadership to promote the development of a s o c i a l i s t state. Just as there are d i f f e r e n t models of development, such as the Western c a p i t a l i s t model and the s o c i a l i s t or communist model, i t i s not necessary to suppose that there i s only one type of family which i s most conducive to i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . Even i n the Western c a p i t a l i s t society, the i s o l a t i o n of the conjugal family i s not complete. Migrants to urban centres commonly keep i n contact with kinsmen by a communication net-work, and many people are able to move from a poor r u r a l hinterland to an i n d u s t r i a l c i t y because of sponsorship by 153 kinsmen, who have already migrated (see G. Johnson, 1975). In the Chinese context, there i s no imminent need for the Chinese leadership to break down the extended kinship pattern, so long as i t does not i n t e r f e r e with the development of the country. The example of China further points out that the extended kinship network i s not necessarily h o s t i l e to modernization, and the. nuclear family, so prevalent i n the West, i s not the only viable way to deal with i n d u s t r i a l i -zation. While c e r t a i n adjustments may have to be made on the t r a d i t i o n a l kinship pattern so as not to make rapid s o c i a l change int o l e r a b l e , there are alte r n a t i v e means to cope with t h i s problem. The modification w i l l have to depend p a r t i a l l y on the s o c i a l structure of a p a r t i c u l a r society. 154 APPENDIX I MARRIAGE REGULATIONS OF THE CHINESE SOVIET REPUBLIC OF 1ST DECEMBER 1931 1 Chapter One: General P r i n c i p l e s A r t i c l e 1 The p r i n c i p l e of freedom of marriage between man and woman is established and the entire feudal system of marriage arranged by persons other than the parties themselves, forced upon the parties and contracted by purchase and sale i s abolished. The practice of taking a "foster daughter-in-law" i s forbidden. A r t i c l e 2 Monogamy i s enforced; polygamy i s forbidden. Chapter Two: Contracting Marriage A r t i c l e 3 The contracting age for marriage i s f u l l y twenty years for men and f u l l y eighteen years for women. A r t i c l e 4 For a man and a woman to contract marriage, the consent of both parties i s necessary. Coercion exercised by either party or by a t h i r d person i s not permitted. A r t i c l e 5 For a man and a woman to marry a person of blood r e l a t i o n -ship within the f i f t h generation i s forbidden. A r t i c l e 6 Persons su f f e r i n g from venereal disease, leprosy, tuber-c u l o s i s , and such l i k e dangerous contagious diseases are forbidden to marry, unless i t i s considered permissible aft e r medical examination. A r t i c l e 7 Persons suffering from mental disease or paralysis are forbidden to marry. The t r a n s l a t i o n of t h i s piece of l e g i s l a t i o n i s taken from Meijer (1971: 281-282). 155 A r t i c l e 8 To contract marriage the man and the woman are required to approach together the hsiang or municipal soviet to r e g i s t e r the marriage and receive a marriage c e r t i f i c a t e . Marriage presents, whether in money or goods, and dowries are abolished. Chapter Three: Divorce A r t i c l e 9 Freedom of divorce i s established. Whenever both the man and the woman agree to divorce, the divorce s h a l l have immediate e f f e c t . When one party, either the man or the woman, i s determined to claim a divorce i t s h a l l have immediate e f f e c t . A r t i c l e 10 When a man and a woman divorce, they are required to re-g i s t e r the divorce with the hsiang or municipal soviet. Chapter Four: Care And Custody Of Children After Divorce A r t i c l e 11 The man i s to raise the children born before the divorce. If both the man and the woman wish to raise the children, they s h a l l be entrusted to the woman. A r t i c l e 12 Small children who are being nursed s h a l l during the period of th e i r nursing be raised by the woman. A r t i c l e 13 If a c h i l d has received land, the land goes with the c h i l d . A r t i c l e 14 When the children have reverted to the woman's costody, the man s h a l l be responsible for two-thirds of t h e i r l i v i n g expenses u n t i l they are sixteen years of age. Payment s h a l l be either in money or by way of t i l l i n g the land the children have received (at land reform). A r t i c l e 15 In the case of the woman marrying again and her new hus-band being w i l l i n g to care for the children (of her e a r l i e r marriage), the father may be discharged of his duty to pro-vide for t h e i r l i v i n g expenses. A r t i c l e 16 A new husband who has agreed to care for (his wife's) children (by an e a r l i e r marriage) must re g i s t e r t h i s 156 matter with the hsiang or municipal soviet. After r e g i s -t r a t i o n he s h a l l be responsible for caring for the children u n t i l they reach adulthood. He s h a l l not rel i n q u i s h his duties (before that time) nor maltreat the children. Chapter Five: Arrangements Concerning The Property Of The Man  And The Woman After Divorce A r t i c l e 17 The man and the woman s h a l l each dispose of the land and property which they i n d i v i d u a l l y had acquired and s e t t l e the debts they had incurred i n d i v i d u a l l y . If the marriage has lasted one f u l l year the increase of property gained by management of the man and the woman in common s h a l l be divided equally between them; i f there are children i t s h a l l be divided equally per capita. A r t i c l e 18 The man s h a l l be responsible for the settlement of common debts incurred by the man and the woman during the time of cohabitation. A r t i c l e 19 If af t e r divorce both the man and the woman are unwilling to leave the house they inhabit, the man s h a l l s e l l part of his house to the woman to l i v e i n . A r t i c l e 20 After divorce, u n t i l the woman marries again, the man must support her or t i l l the land for her. Chapter Six: Care Qf Children Born Before Registration Of  Qf Marriage A r t i c l e 21 The man s h a l l bear two-thirds of the l i v i n g expenses of children born before r e g i s t r a t i o n of his marriage, i f i t i s c l e a r l y proved that the children are h i s . The A r t i c l e s 11 - 15 of Chapter Four s h a l l be applicable. Chapter Seven: Additional Provisions A r t i c l e 22 Whosoever contravenes t h i s law s h a l l be duly punished according to the criminal law. A r t i c l e 23 These regulations w i l l be enforced as from the day of promulgation. 157 APPENDIX II MARRIAGE LAW OF THE CHINESE SOVIET REPUBLIC OF APRIL 8,19341 Chapter One: General Provisions A r t i c l e 1 The p r i n c i p l e of freedom of marriage between man and woman i s f i r m l y established and the entire system of marriage arranged by persons other than the parties themselves, forced upon the parties, or contracted by purchase and sale, i s abolished. The practice of taking a "foster daughter-in-law" i s forbidden. A r t i c l e 2 Monogamy i s enforced; polygamy and polyandry are forbidden. Chapter Two: Contracting Marriage A r t i c l e 3 The contracting age for marriage i s f u l l y twenty years for man and f u l l y eighteen years for woman. A r t i c l e 4 For a man and a woman to contract marriage, the consent of both par t i e s i s necessary. Coercion exercised by either party or by a t h i r d person i s not permitted. A r t i c l e 5 To contract marriage with a person of blood re l a t i o n s h i p within three generations i s forbidden. A r t i c l e 6 Persons su f f e r i n g from venereal disease, leprosy, tuber-c u l o s i s , and such l i k e dangerous contagious diseases, are forbidden to marry, unless i t i s considered permissible aft e r medical examination. A r t i c l e 7 Persons s u f f e r i n g from mental disease or paralysis are forbidden to marry. 1From Meijer (1971: 283-284). 158 A r t i c l e 8 To contract marriage a man and a woman are required to register the marriage with the soviet of the hsiang or municipal ch'u together and receive a marriage c e r t i f i c a t e . Marriage presents, whether i n money or goods, and dowries are abolished. A r t i c l e 9 In a l l cases of a man and a woman cohabiting, whether or not they have registered marriage, they s h a l l be considered to have contracted marriage. Chapter Three: Divorce A r t i c l e 10 Freedom of divorce i s established. When one party, either the man or the woman, i s determined to claim a divorce, divorce may immediately be effected. A r t i c l e 11 Wives of soldi e r s of the Red Army when claiming a divorce must obtain the consent of t h e i r husbands, but i n areas where communication by l e t t e r i s easy and where the hus-band has not returned home nor communicated by l e t t e r for two years, the wife may approach the l o c a l government and request r e g i s t r a t i o n of the divorce. In areas where com-munication by l e t t e r i s d i f f i c u l t , and four years have elapsed since the husband l a s t communicated by l e t t e r or since he l a s t returned home, the wife may approach the l o c a l government and request r e g i s t r a t i o n of the divorce. A r t i c l e 12 When a man and a woman divorce they must r e g i s t e r the divorce with the soviet of the hsiang and the municipal ch'u. Chapter Four: Arrangements Concerning the Property Of the Man  And The Woman After Divorce A r t i c l e 13 After divorce the land and property o r i g i n a l l y owned by the man and the woman and the debts o r i g i n a l l y incurred by them s h a l l be disposed of by themselves. If the marri-age has lasted one f u l l year the increase of property gained by management in common w i l l be divided equally between the man and the woman. I f there are children i t s h a l l be divided equally per capita. To s e t t l e common debts incurred by the man and the woman, during the time 159 of cohabitation s h a l l be the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the man. A r t i c l e 14 When a f t e r divorce the woman removes to a v i l l a g e i n an-other hsiang she s h a l l receive land in accordance with the rate of a l l o c a t i o n p r e v a i l i n g in that hsiang. If in the new v i l l a g e there i s no more land to allocated, the woman s h a l l r e t a i n the land she o r i g i n a l l y owned. The way of disposing of that land, whether by renting i t out, s e l l i n g , or exchanging i t with another person, s h a l l be f r e e l y decided by the woman herself. The above mentioned provisions on the d i s t r i b u t i o n of land and disposal thereof s h a l l be applicable i n f u l l to the children (of the marriage) i f i t has been decided that such children s h a l l recert to the mother's custody and they accompany the mother on her removal. A r t i c l e 15 If a f t e r divorce the woman lacks.the capacity to perform work and has no d e f i n i t e occupation and therefore cannot support herself, the man, unless she has married again, s h a l l a s s i s t her by t i l l i n g her land or by otherwise supporting her. But i f the man himself lacks a d e f i n i t e occupation and cannot support himself, t h i s provision does not apply. Chapter Five: Arrangements For Children After Divorce A r t i c l e 16 Children born and conceived of the marriage before divorce s h a l l revert to the woman's custody. If the woman does not wish to take custody of them, they w i l l revert to the man's custody, but the wishes of an elder c h i l d s h a l l be respected. A r t i c l e 17 The man s h a l l bear two-thirds of the l i v i n g expenses of each c h i l d reverting to the woman's custody u n t i l he or she attains the age of sixteen. Payment s h a l l be either in money or by way of t i l l i n g the land d i s t r i b u t e d among the children. A r t i c l e 18 Should the woman marry again and the new husband wishes to care for the children, the father may be exempted from further bearing the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for supporting the children as provided i n the l a s t preceding a r t i c l e . A 160 new husband who has agreed to care for the children must register t h i s matter with the soviet of the hsiang or municipal ch'u. On r e g i s t r a t i o n he must accept respon-s i b i l i t y for caring for them u n t i l they reach adulthood. He s h a l l not rel i n q u i s h his duties (before that time) not maltreat the children. Chapter Six: Children Born Out Of Wedlock A r t i c l e 19 Children born out of wedlock s h a l l enjoy a l l the rights granted to legitimate children by t h i s Marriage Law. To maltreat or abandon such children i s forbidden. Chapter Seven: Additional Provisions A r t i c l e 20 Whosoever contravenes t h i s law s h a l l be duly punished according to the criminal law. A r t i c l e 21 This law s h a l l be enforced as from the day of i t s pro-mulgation. 161 APPENDIX III THE MARRIAGE LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA PROMULGATED BY THE CENTRAL PEOPLE'S GOVERNMENT ON MAY 1, 1950 1 Chapter One: General P r i n c i p l e s A r t i c l e 1 The a r b i t r a r y and compulsory feudal marriage system, which i s based on the supe r i o r i t y of man over woman and which ignores the children's inte r e s t s , i s abolished. The New Democratic marriage system, which i s based on free choice of partners, on monogamy, on equal rights for both sexes, and on protection of the lawful interests of women and children, s h a l l be put into e f f e c t . A r t i c l e 2 Polygamy, concubinage, c h i l d betrothal, interference with the remarriage of widows and the exaction of money or g i f t s i n connection with marriage s h a l l be prohibited. Chapter Two: Contracting Of Marriage A r t i c l e 3 Marriage s h a l l be based upon the complete willingness of the two p a r t i e s . Neither party s h a l l use compulsion and no t h i r d party s h a l l be allowed to i n t e r f e r e . A r t i c l e 4 A marriage can be contracted only aft e r the man has reached twenty years of age and the woman -has. reached eighteen years of age. A r t i c l e 5 No man or woman i n any of the following instances s h a l l be allowed to marry: (a) Where the man and woman are l i n e a l r e l a t i v e s by blood or where the man and woman are brother and s i s t e r born of This i s the standard English t r a n s l a t i o n of the Marriage Law of 1950. It has been reprinted in at least two Western publications. See, for instance, Yang (1959) and C r o l l (1974). 162 the same parents or where the man and woman are half-brother and h a l f - s i s t e r . The question of pro h i b i t i n g marriage between c o l l a t e r a l r e l a t i v e s by blood within the f i f t h degree of rela t i o n s h i p i s to be determined by custom. (b) When one party, because of certa i n physical defects, i s sexually impotent. (c) Where one party i s suf f e r i n g from venereal disease, mental disorder, leprosy, or any other disease which i s regarded by medical science as rendering the person u n f i t for marriage. A r t i c l e 6 In order to contract a marriage, both the man and the woman s h a l l r e g i s t e r i n person with the people's government of the s u b d i s t r i c t or v i l l a g e in which they reside. If the marriage i s found to be i n conformity with the provisions of the law, the l o c a l people's government s h a l l , without delay, issue a marriage c e r t i f i c a t e . If the marriage i s found to be incompatible with the provisions of t h i s law, no r e g i s t r a t i o n s h a l l be granted. Chapter Three: Rights And Duties Of Husband And Wife A r t i c l e 7 Husband and wife are companion l i v i n g together and s h a l l enjoy equal status in the home. A r t i c l e 8 Husband and wife are i n duty to love, respect, a s s i s t , and look a f t e r each other, to l i v e in harmony, to engage i n production, to care for the children, and to s t r i v e j o i n t l y for the welfare of the family and for the building up of a new society. A r t i c l e 9 Both husband and wife s h a l l have the right to free choice of occupations and free p a r t i c i p a t i o n in work or in s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . A r t i c l e 10 Both husband and wife s h a l l have equal rights in the possession and management of family property. A r t i c l e 11 Both husband and wife s h a l l have the right to use his or her own family name. A r t i c l e 12 Both husband and wife s h a l l have the right to i n h e r i t each 163 other's property. Chapter Four: Relations Between Parents And Children A r t i c l e 13 Parents have the duty to rear and to educate t h e i r c h i l d -ren, the children have the duty to look aft e r and th a s s i s t t h e i r parents. Neither the parents and the c h i l d -ren s h a l l maltreat or desert one another. The foregoing provision also applies to the stepparents and stepchildren. Infanticide by drowning and si m i l a r criminal acts are s t r i c t l y prohibited. A r t i c l e 14 Parents and children s h a l l have the right to i n h e r i t one another's property. A r t i c l e 15 Children born out of wedlock s h a l l enjoy the same rights as children born i n lawful wedlock. No person s h a l l be allowed to harm or to discriminate against children born out of wedlock. Where the paternity of a c h i l d born out of wedlock i s l e g a l l y established by the mother of the c h i l d , by other witnesses, or by other material evidence, the i d e n t i f i e d father must bear the whole or part of .the cost of maintenance and education of the c h i l d u n t i l i t has attained the age of eighteen. With the consent of the natural mother, the natural father may have custody of the c h i l d . With regard to the maintenance of a c h i l d whose natural mother marries, the provisions of A r t i c l e 22 s h a l l apply. A r t i c l e 16 A husband or wife s h a l l not maltreat or discriminate against a c h i l d born of a previous marriage. Chapter Five: Divorce A r t i c l e 17 Divorce s h a l l be granted when husband and wife both desire i t . In the event of either the husband or the wife i n s i s t -ing upon divorce, i t may be granted only when mediation by the s u b d i s t r i c t people's government and the s u b d i s t r i c t j u d i c i a l organ has f a i l e d to bring about a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . In the case where divorce i s desired by both the husband and wife, both parties s h a l l r e g i s t e r with the s u b d i s t r i c t people's government in order to obtain a c e r t i f i c a t e of divorce. The s u b d i s t r i c t government, afte r establishing 164 that divorce i s desired by both parties and that appropriate measures have been taken for the care of children and pro-perty, s h a l l issue the c e r t i f i c a t e of divorce without delay. When only one party i n s i s t s on divorce, the s u b d i s t r i c t people's government may t r y to effect a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . If such mediation f a i l s , i t should, without delay, refer the case to the d i s t r i c t or c i t y people's court for d e c i -sion. The s u b d i s t r i c t people's government s h a l l not attempt to prevent or to obstruct either party from appealing to the d i s t r i c t or c i t y people's court. In dealing with a divorce case, the d i s t r i c t or c i t y people's court must, in the f i r s t instance, t r y to bring about a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n between the pa r t i e s . In case such mediation f a i l s , the court s h a l l render a verdict without delay. In the case where, afte r divorce, both husband and wife desire the resumption of matrimonial rel a t i o n s , they should apply to the s u b d i s t r i c t people's government for a r e g i s t r a t i o n of remarriage. The s u b d i s t r i c t people's government should accept such a r e g i s t r a t i o n and issue a c e r t i f i c a t e of remarriage. A r t i c l e 18 The husband s h a l l not apply for a divorce when his wife i s with c h i l d . He may apply for divorce only one year afte r the b i r t h of the c h i l d . In the case of a woman applying for divorce, t h i s r e s t r i c t i o n does not apply. A r t i c l e 19 The spouse of a member of the revolutionary army on active service who maintains correspondence with his (or her) family must f i r s t obtain his (or her) consent before he (or she) can ask for a divorce. As from the date of the promulgation of t h i s law, divorce may be granted to the spouse of a member of the revolu-tionary army who does not correspond with his (or her) family for a subsequent period of two years. Divorce may also be granted to the spouse of a member of the revolutionary army who has not maintained correspondence with his (or her) family for over two years p r i o r to the promulgation of t h i s law and who f a i l s to correspond with his (or her) family for a further period of one year sub-sequent to the promulgation of the present law. Chapter Six: Support And Education Of Children After Divorce A r t i c l e 20 The blood t i e s between parents and children do not end with 165 the divorce of the parents. No matter whether the father or the mother acts as guardian of the c h i l d or children, they s t i l l remain the children of both p a r t i e s . After divorce, the guiding p r i n c i p l e s i s to allow the mother to have custody of a baby u n t i l being breast-fed. After the weaning of the c h i l d , i f a dispute arises between the two parties over the guardianship and an agreement cannot be reached, the people's court s h a l l render a decision in accordance with the best interests of the c h i l d . A r t i c l e 21 After divorce, i f the mother i s given custody of a c h i l d , the father s h a l l be responsible for the whole or part of the necessary cost of the maintenance and education of the c h i l d . Both parties s h a l l reach an agreement regarding the amount of the cost and the duration of such maintenance and education. In the case where the two parties f a i l to reach an agreement, the people's court s h a l l render a decision. Payment must be made in cash, i n kind, or by t i l l i n g the land allocated to the c h i l d . Such an agreement reached between the parents or decision rendered by the people's court in connection with the maintenance and educational expenses for a c h i l d s h a l l not prevent the c h i l d from requesting either parent to increase the amount above that f i x e d by agreement or by j u d i c i a l decision. A r t i c l e 22 In the case where divorced woman remarries and her husband is w i l l i n g to pay the whole or part of the cost of main-tenance and education for the c h i l d or children by her former husband, the father of the c h i l d or children i s e n t i t l e d to have such cost of maintenance and education reduced or i s e n t i t l e d to be exempt from bearing such cost in accordance with the circumstances. Chapter Seven: Property And Maintenance After Divorce A r t i c l e 23 In case of divorce, the wife s h a l l retain such property as belonged to her p r i o r to her marriage. The disposal of other household properties s h a l l be subject to agree-ment between the two p a r t i e s . In the case where an agreement cannot be reached, the people's court s h a l l render a decision a f t e r taking into consideration the 166 a c t u a l s t a t e of f a m i l y p r o p e r t y , the i n t e r e s t s o f the w i f e and the c h i l d or c h i l d r e n , and the p r i n c i p l e of b e n e f i t i n g the development of p r o d u c t i o n . In the case where the p r o p e r t y a l l o c a t e d t o the w i f e and her c h i l d or c h i l d r e n i s s u f f i c i e n t f o r the maintenance and e d u c a t i o n of the c h i l d or c h i l d r e n , the husband may be exempt from b e a r i n g f u r t h e r maintenance and education c o s t s . A r t i c l e 24 A f t e r d i v o r c e , debts i n c u r r e d d u r i n g the p e r i o d o f marriage s h a l l be p a i d out of the p r o p e r t y a c q u i r e d by husband and wi f e d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . In the case where no such pro-p e r t y has been a c q u i r e d or i n the case where such p r o p e r t y i s i n s u f f i c i e n t to pay o f f such debts, the husband s h a l l be h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r paying these debts. Debts i n -c u r r e d s e p a r a t e l y by the husband or w i f e s h a l l be p a i d o f f by the p a r t y r e s p o n s i b l e . A r t i c l e 25 A f t e r d i v o r c e , i f one p a r t y has not remar r i e d and has d i f f i c u l t i e s i n maintenance, the other p a r t y should render assistance,. Both p a r t i e s s h a l l work out an agreement wi t h regard to the method and d u r a t i o n o f such a s s i s t a n c e ; i n case an agreement cannot be reached, the people's c o u r t s h a l l render a d e c i s i o n . Chapter E i g h t ; Bylaws A r t i c l e 26 Persons v i o l a t i n g t h i s law s h a l l be punished i n accordance wit h law. In the case where i n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h the freedom of marriage has caused death or i n j u r y , the person g u i l t y o f such i n t e r f e r e n c e s h a l l bear c r i m i n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y b e f o r e the law. A r t i c l e 27 T h i s law s h a l l come i n t o f o r c e from the date of i t s promul-g a t i o n . In regions i n h a b i t e d by n a t i o n a l m i n o r i t i e s , the M i l i t a r y and P o l i t i c a l C o u n c i l o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Area of the p r o v i n c i a l people's government may enact c e r t a i n m o d i f i c a t i o n s o f supplementary a r t i c l e s i n conformity w i t h the a c t u a l c o n d i t i o n s p r e v a i l i n g among n a t i o n a l m i n o r i t i e s i n r e g ard to marriage. But such measures must be submitted to the Government A d m i n i s t r a t i o n C o u n c i l f o r r a t i f i c a t i o n b e f o r e enforcement. 167 APPENDIX IV NOTE ON SOURCE MATERIALS AND PERIODIZATION A. SOURCE MATERIALS Primary data for t h i s thesis i s obtained mainly from Chinese sources. Apart from the handbooks and pamphlets on the Marriage Law, the source materials consulted are as follows: U.R.I. Cli p p i n g F i l e Section consulted: The New Marriage Law Movement Years consulted: 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1961, and 1962. (Material on 1950 to 1954, and 1959 to I960 i s missing.) Nan-fang jih-pao (The Southern Daily) - the o f f i c i a l newspaper of Kwangtung province Years consulted: January 1950 to June 1953. (Newspapers from J u l y to December, 1953 are not available in microfilm form.) Chung-kuo fu-ntt (Women of China) - the national women's magazine Issues consulted: 1956: nos. 1-12; 1957: nos. 1-12; 1959: nos. 3, 4, and 13. (Other issues not available i n U.B.C.) China Reconstructs - English language p e r i o d i c a l for non-Chinese readers Issues consulted: 1975: nos. 1-8. B. PERIODIZATION This thesis i s e s s e n t i a l l y concerned with the Marriage Law and i t s implementation with a focus on the years 1950 to 1953. These were the years when the Marriage Law campaigns were c a r r i e d out on a national scale. Subsequent years up to 1962 are mentioned only i n passing to assess the impact of the marriage reform movement. The C u l t u r a l Revolution, which gave r i s e to a d i f f e r e n t set of problems concerning marriage and the family, i s d e l i b e r a t e l y omitted from the present discussion. 168 BIBLIOGRAPHY English Language Material Adams, Bert N. 1968 "Interaction theory and the s o c i a l network", Marvin B. Sussman (ed), Sourcebook i n Marriage and the  Family (3rd e d i t i o n ) . Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n Co. pp. 507-515. Anderson, M. (ed) 1971 Sociology of the Family. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. Banfield, Edward C. 1964 "A; ipredictive hypothesis", William J . Goode-(ed). Readings on Family and Society. Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e n t i c e - h a l l , inc. pp. 190-193. Barber, E l i n o r G. 1964 "Changing patterns of mobility", William J . Goode (ed), Readings on Family and Society. Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e n t i c e - h a l l , inc. pp. 65-67. 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