Asian Studies @ Suffolk

Popular Culture in China’s Republican Period: The story of a family genealogy

July 26, 2012 · No Comments

A Chinese language research article of Ron Suleski was recently published.  Titled “Popular Culture in China’s Republican Period: The story of a family genealogy,”民國時期的平民文化:一本家譜的故事.  It appeared in the Journal of Hangzhou Normal University杭州師範大學學報, Vol. 34, No. 3 (May 2012), 1-7.

The article is based on a hand-written family history I bought at a market in Shandong Province 山東省 in 2009.  It did not have many pages and seemed to have very little concrete information, but a thorough analysis of the work revealed a surprising amount of information about the Tang 唐family.  For example, though most likely in a rural area, the Tang family wanted to acquire social status, so over the centuries a number of the men took secondary wives, whose names were listed in the genealogy. It also illustrates that female children who died while still only one or two years old were not even given names in the family record, but were simply listed as “female” (女).

An abstract of the article is here.

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