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Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing ChinaXue Shaohui (1866-1911) and the Era of Reform$
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Nanxiu Qian

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804792400

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804792400.001.0001

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Xue’s Self-Repositioning in the Family

Xue’s Self-Repositioning in the Family

(p.213) Seven Xue’s Self-Repositioning in the Family
Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing China

Nanxiu Qian

Stanford University Press

Amid changing relationships of gender and between family and state during the late Qing reforms, how would Xue reconsider a woman’s position in the family? How did her ideas continue and differ from women’s self-positioning in late imperial China? Xue made clear in action and in theorization that, in accord with the current world situation, women had to break their cloistered position and walk into the public space. Drawing upon a broad, eclectic pool of intellectual resources, Xue reinterpreted conventional socio-political principles encoded in the core Confucian documents, and revised and gendered the male-dominated polity into a cooperative enterprise of men and women. Using Xue’s personal life as an example, this chapter examines how Xue recast women’s conventional roles—wife, mother, daughter, and sister—to fit her ideal womanhood to the changing socio-political situation.

Keywords:   women’s position, “Great Learning” (“Daxue”), eight-step “classic account,” Neo-Confucianism, cheng (integrity, sincerity), shen (spirit)

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