Manchu Widows and Ethnicity in Qing China

  title={Manchu Widows and Ethnicity in Qing China},
  author={Mark C. Elliott},
  journal={Comparative Studies in Society and History},
  pages={33 - 71}
  • M. Elliott
  • Published 1 January 1999
  • History
  • Comparative Studies in Society and History
Like women in many parts of the world whose husbands predeceased them, widows in China were free electrons, unbound elements in the social chemistry. Economically vulnerable, ritually superfluous, and at the same time socially destabilizing and sexually threatening, they were archetypal liminal figures—marginalized, caricatured, and feared. This has made the widow a good subject for literary critics, anthropologists, and historians interested in the way that societies treat women and in the way… 

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