The Malleability of the Xiao Jiating Ideal
Family reformers believed that xiao jiating was essential to China's salvation; even the Nationalists, the New Culture Movement, the Communists, and entrepreneurs all agreed on several fundamental and necessary criteria which distinguished it from the joint family. They advocated the individual's freedom to choose the person he or she married and shared an interest in limiting the economic interdependence of family members. Advocates of xiao jiating also shared a belief in the importance of family reform to national strengthening, although their visions of family and state differed from each others'. Each group treated differently the three foci of family-reform discourse—the individual, the nation-state, and productivity—in order to make xiao jiating conform to its vision of social and political reform.
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