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Voices of women : reinvention of flower basket association in contemporary rural central China

Reinvention of flower basket association in contemporary rural central China

Authors Yan, Zhidan
Issue Date 2008
Summary This study about the middle-aged women in contemporary rural central China attempts to elucidate the interactions between the women and the external social changes through the ingenious reinvention of their organization, the Flower Basket Association. North Street Flower Basket Association is chosen for the study, because of its female members’ great ability in reforming a variety of lyrics for use in different performances and occasions. This study analyzes how the women participate in the Association to actively react to their present situations, which are the increase of the youth power in the family, the perceived threat from the other people in the community, and the restrictions implemented by the government forces. The study starts by describing the songs and dances of Flower Basket Association in my field site, Huaiyang County. It then introduces the organization and operation of North Street Flower Basket Association, focusing on the ethnographic descriptions of the female members and the religious elements of their performance. The study then goes on to explore how the middle-aged women manipulate the Association to create a space for gathering and sharing experiences with each other. Meanwhile, the Association becomes a significant vehicle for the women to react to the pressure generated by rapid social changes. It discusses how women reinvent their traditional performance to deal with the relationships between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, between the women from the different ethnic groups, and between the women and the government forces. In short, my central argument in this thesis is that the adroit reinvention by these women enables them to meet the challenges from the families and the community, and also empowers them to have the choice to interact with the government forces.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2008
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Language English
Format Thesis
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