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Polyandry and Wife-Selling In Qing Dynasty ChinaSurvival Strategies and Judicial Interventions$
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Matthew H. Sommer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520287037

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520287037.001.0001

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Wives, Their Natal Families, and Children

Wives, Their Natal Families, and Children

Chapter:
(p.211) 7 Wives, Their Natal Families, and Children
Source:
Polyandry and Wife-Selling In Qing Dynasty China
Author(s):

Matthew H. Sommer

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520287037.003.0008

Chapter 8 analyzes the role played by women in wife sales, with a focus on their own perspectives and agency and on the conditions that might make them vulnerable to coercion. Many women provoked their own sale; others successfully prevented or canceled sales. In general, it was difficult sell a wife without her cooperation, except under highly specific circumstances. Her natal family constituted her most important source of support. Children usually accompanied wives into their new households, and terms of custody were a flashpoint of conflict.

Keywords:   wife sale, agency, natal family, children, coercion

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