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Drink Water, but Remember the SourceMoral Discourse in a Chinese Village$
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Ellen Oxfeld

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260948

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260948.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Weighty Expectations

Weighty Expectations

Women and Family Virtue

(p.73) Chapter 3 Weighty Expectations
Drink Water, but Remember the Source

Ellen Oxfeld

University of California Press

This chapter examines contending ideas about family obligation in Moonshadow Pond. In particular, it explores the evolving and sometimes contradictory expectations surrounding the roles of daughter and daughter-in-law. Women face conflicting demands in these roles, but these demands are themselves changing and evolving as reform-era rural families find their way in a rapidly changing economic system. In this context, moral discourse is a way that individuals articulate ideas, often contradictory ones, about what obligation means in the family. In Moonshadow Pond, such issues are not merely theoretical. Ideas about family obligations are typically expressed not in times of quiet reflection, but in the course of actual family disputes and problems. As people explain their actions, they draw from a number of different family moralities.

Keywords:   family, obligation, Moonshadow Pond, roles, women, economic system, moralities

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