Rich in its historical perspective on women and men in the context of economic development, this ethnography provides a unique window on rural China since the 1930s. Laurel Bossen uses her detailed knowledge to explore theories regarding such momentous changes as the demise of footbinding, the transformation and feminization of farming, the rise of family planning, and the question of missing daughters. Based on research conducted during the 1990s in Lu Village and informed by Fei Xiaotong's classic 1930s study of the same village, the book goes beyond the enduring myths of women as either victims or heroes. Throughout, Lu Village women defy stereotypes, their stories expressing the range of economic, social, and political practices that are both upholding and altering the boundaries of gender in the face of shifting state and market forces.
Laurel Bossen is associate professor of anthropology at McGill University.
Chapter 1 Lu Village in Southwest China: Unearthing Gender Chapter 2 Perspectives in Time Chapter 3 Trade and Beauty: The Demise of Footbinding in Lu Village Chapter 4 Gender in Land Tenure, Farming, and Employment Chapter 5 The Wealth of a Gifted Woman: The Shaman of Lu Village Chapter 6 Wealth and Poverty, 1930s to 1990s: Paths to Ruin and Fortune Chapter 7 Marriage, Households, and Gender: Keeping Sons and Daughters Chapter 8 Demographic Change, Family Planning, and Sex Preference Chapter 9 Politics and Political Culture Chapter 10 Unbinding China's Peasants Chapter 11 List of Maps, Figures, and Tables Chapter 12 Weighs and Measures Chapter 13 Glossary