British Journal of Chinese Studies

dragon mural beijing 2018 copyright Gerda Wielander
Vol 8 No 2 (2018)
Book Reviews

Michelle Tien King (2014). Between Birth and Death: Female Infanticide in Nineteenth-Century China.

Ying-kit Chan
Princeton University
Published March 15, 2019
How to Cite
Chan, Y.- kit. (2019). Michelle Tien King (2014). Between Birth and Death: Female Infanticide in Nineteenth-Century China. British Journal of Chinese Studies, 8(2), 147-150. https://doi.org/10.51661/bjocs.v8i2.11

Abstract

It seems obvious and trite to discuss female infanticide in China. Female infanticide has long been regarded as a product of backward cultural practices and gender inequities under an authoritarian, patriarchal regime bent on enacting and enforcing a “birth” sub-regime. Along with footbinding, female infanticide becomes a marker of traditional China’s decadent culture and regressive past. This perception of China is reinforced by first a single-child policy and then a prevalent desire to have even smaller, nuclear families in an increasingly affluent society, which have “amplified the effects of a long-standing societal preference for sons, derived from a traditional Confucian value system that still lingers in present form” (p.2).

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