Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(968 words)

Traditionally, Chinese marriage is a pre-arrangement between two families (marriage customs). It reflects the economic interests - characterized by agricultural and handicraft concerns - within a patriarchal society (family). In the late 19th century, industrialization efforts led to the development of national-patriotic ideas on the formation of a national state. The quest for social and individual emancipation was expressed in the May Fourth Movement. It also called for a "socialization of marriage" by means of regulating marriage.

The state was considered a body indep…

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Leutner, Mechthild, “Marriage”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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