宗族の規範と個人の選択 : 中国湖北省農村の招贅婚の事例から  [in Japanese] Chinese Lineage Norms and Individual Options : A Case Study of Uxorilocal Marriage in Rural Hubei Province  [in Japanese]

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<p>This study presents concrete data concerning uxorilocal marriage in a rural area of Hubei Province, China. Its focus is on surname change, surname reversion, and lineage reversion among uxorilocal sons-in-law. It explicates the mechanisms of these phenomena, and attempts thereby to re-examine lineage norms and individual options among the Han people. For Chinese lineage norms, virilocal marriage is socially and culturally ordained as the normal and orthodox form, while uxorilocal marriage is the opposite. Uxorilocal marriages -when they are found- tend to introduce tension into the family structure. Such families depend on a contract between the father-in-law and his son-in-law, with the son-in-law even changing his surname and assuming the duties of a son. However, it is difficult for him to share the same patrilineal line identity with his father-in-law, which makes the relationship fragile. This is because, as members of the same family, the two men share interests and form one community. As members of different original patrilineal lines, however, they represent separate lineages and conflicting interests. If the balance of power shifts, or more advantageous social circumstances for the son-in-law come about, he may initiate surname reversion and return to his own birth lineage. Surname reversion and return to their own birth lineage among uxorilocal sons-in-law, as well as fathers-in-law demanding that sons-in-law change their surname are phenomena that draw attention to the patrilineal principle, a principle dealing with loyalty to the patrilineal blood line. This principle is the reason and motivation behind fathers-in-law demanding that sons-in-law change their surnames to those of their fathers-in-law, and also accounts for the power of the sons-in-law to return to their own birth lineage. In addition to the patrilineal principle, the social, economic and political power relationship between father-in-law and son-in-law or between the family and lineage of the father-in-law and that of the son-in-law, as well as the character of the son-in-law, also greatly affect surname reversion and the return to their own birth lineage among uxorilocal sons-in-law. However, in Hubei Province some uxorilocal sons-in-law still uphold the contract and have not taken up surname reversion and return to birth lineage. The failure to revert was primarily a result of such factors as social pressure to keep the contract, individual temperament, the social, political and economic circumstances of the father-in-law's family, and untimely death. There is also the preference of villagers who have no sons to contract uxorilocal unions with uxorilocal sons-in-law from different lineages over guojizi (internal adoption) from their own lineage. Such behavior in itself means that the actor has put his own interests first, and sacrifices his original identity, the ideology of his lineage, and lineage interests. Individual actors usually respond to the situation by choosing and manipulating social relations in the pursuit of their own best interests. Lineage and family are, in this case, merely one important set of social relations among others. Just as the family and the lineage cannot satisfy the demand of all men to marry, the norms of family and lineage cannot govern the total behavior of all members of society. As an expression of the difference between lineage norms and individual options, there are many different types of uxorilocal sons-in-law in uxorilocal marriages. One can arrange them on a continuous line between two poles, that is, from type A, the "nianxian (impermanent)" uxorilocal sons-in-law who don't change their surname, to type Z, the "zhongshen (permanent)" uxorilocal sons-in-law who do change their surname but eventually revert to their original surname and return to their own birth lineage. Recent developments centering on surname change,</p><p>(View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)</p>


  • Japanese Journal of Ethnology

    Japanese Journal of Ethnology 68(4), 511-533, 2004

    Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology


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