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Disgraceful Matters: The Politics of Chastity in Eighteenth-Century China

Janet Theiss


Looking beyond the familiar trappings of the cult of female chastity — such as hagiographies of widows and chastity shrines — in late imperial China, this book explores the cult's political significance and practical ramifications in everyday life during the eighteenth century. This book examines a vast number of laws, legal cases, regulations, and policies to illustrate the social and political processes through which female virtue was defined, enforced, and contested. Along the way, it provides rich details of social life and cultural practices among ordinary Chinese people through narrative ... More

Keywords: female chastity, hagiographies, chastity shrines, late imperial China, female virtue, cultural practices, Chinese, sexual assault, harassment, adultery

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780520240339
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520240339.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Janet Theiss, author