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Between Birth and DeathFemale Infanticide in Nineteenth-Century China$
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Michelle T. King

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785983

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785983.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 24 January 2020

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Between Birth and Death
Author(s):

Michelle T. King

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804785983.003.0001

The introduction begins with an anecdote of a premodern statesman and poet, Su Shi, describing with melancholy an instance of infanticide. Though the instance he recounts dates back to the eleventh century, the legacy of the practice he laments stems well into the present, where infanticide, particularly female infanticide, is heavily connoted with Chinese culture and history. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of studying female infanticide in China, is the taken-for-granted contours of its practice, persistence, and meaning. Historian William Langer has remarked that infanticide was widely regarded as a practice particular to China and other Asian countries, neglecting its prevalence in Western history. Infanticide remains for most people a historical curiosity when it occurs in Western societies, not one of its historical fixtures, as it has been imagined for Chinese society. This book attempts to account for this selective forgetting and collective remembering.

Keywords:   infanticide, China, gender, death, Tianjin Massacre, missionaries, Chinese, female infanticide

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