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Title: A comparative study of patriarchal family ideology in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore
Authors: Sze, Yin Yin
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Issue Date: 2003
Supervisor: Dr. Zang Xiao Wei
Subjects: Patriarchal family ideology
Chinese ideology
Egalitarian family ideology
Government's political ideology
Abstract: In this research, I aim to study the reasons that shape the patriarchal family ideology in Chinese societies. Patriarchal family value is a dominant family ideology practicing in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. I will employ the social, economic, gender, and developmental explanations, together with the analysis of local contexts of government’s political ideology, the effect of industrialization, Confucian cultural value, and socialization as the factors, to make an analytical framework to analyze the reasons for the shaping of patriarchal family ideology. I will examine how these forces strengthen, sustain, or weaken the patriarchal family ideology in Chinese families. Previous studies on patriarchal family ideology focus on the power-relationship between husband and wife in terms of gender-role analysis. But they cannot provide sufficient reasons which lead to the formation of patriarchal family ideology. Thus, it is important to analyze different perspectives on patriarchal family ideology and explore a new perspective to understand this ideology. I will use qualitative research method to conduct the research in order to find out the underlying forces which strengthen, sustain, and weaken the patriarchal family ideology under different Chinese societies. It is found that the government’s ideology and policy shaping explain the patriarchal family ideology of women in Mainland China and Singapore, but these factors cannot explain the strong patriarchal family ideology in Hong Kong’s families even without government’s intervention. Thus, these factors are less likely to be the possible reason for generating patriarchy. The second finding shows that under a highly industrialized society like Hong Kong and Singapore, the patriarchal family value is strengthened. But it cannot explain the existence of patriarchal family ideology under socialist China. Contrary to beliefs, Confucianism (i.e., a common Chinese culture) is found to be insufficient to explain the reason on sustaining the patriarchal family ideology because it cannot explain the rise of egalitarian families in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Socialization is more likely to explain the patriarchal family ideology, but not as a force that changes this ideology. Thus, a new approach to patriarchal family ideology is to understand male’s perspective towards this issue. The change of the patriarchal family ideology depends on males’ attitudes toward women and on the personal commitment of husband towards wife to maintain an egalitarian ideology in the family.
Appears in Collections:Applied Social Sciences - Undergraduate Final Year Projects - Sociology

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