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Patrilineal Descent in China

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Describe patrilineal descent and organization and functions of patrilineal descent groups in traditional China.

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Patrilineal Descent and Organization and Functions of Patrilineal Descent Groups in Traditional China Family

In traditional China, family life was the nexus of the social system-a virtual citadel to patriarchy. It is important to note however-that very few family systems can compete with the Confucian for degradation and brutality toward women. From female infanticide to cripple feet to child-bride sale, wife beating, polygyny and more, Chinese women have lived through bitter, brutal, poverty-stricken, bruised, battered, and rather short lives.

Male Dominance; Patriarchy & Patrilineal Descent

For practical reasons, and in describing the term "familism," there are five essential features:
1. Emphasis on the father/son relationship : Although the family as a social organization always involves parent-child or husband-wife relationships (unless there was tension between the father and son), there never would be familism. Also, in some cases, there was not even a stable relationship. Why? This relationship establishes the conditions for patriarchy, patrilocal residence after marriage, patrilineal descent, agnatic clan organization, and the inheritance of property by one or all legal ...

Solution Summary

Patrilineal descent in China is described. The functions of patrilineal descent groups in traditional China are provided.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution


1) I know that in Europe and North America we are primarily of bilateral descent, but what does this mean? Does it simply mean we recognize descent from both our mother's and our father's sides of the family, or is there more to it, related to how it applies to American culture (meaning how does it work)?

2) What type of post-marital residence patterns do most U.S. households practice?

3) Why is matrilineal parallel cousin marriage forbidden in a matrilineal society?

4) What are two functions of cross-cousin marriage in a small-scale society? Why are these functions important in a small-scale society, but not so important in a large-scale society like the U.S.?

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