The Handbook of World Families provides a cross-cultural perspective on the family by examining family life in 25 countries worldwide. The countries included in this volume are organized by six world regions including Africa, Asia/South Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America - offering readers the most thorough and balanced cross-cultural examination of world families available. Editors Bert N. Adams and Jan Trost, along with contributions by top family studies experts from around the world, ensure reliable, cutting-edge research and perspectives.
Chapter 5: Chinese Families
Introduction and Description
For most Chinese people, family (jia or jiating) is a simple as well as a complex concept. It is simple because everybody has a family (or families) and thus knows what it is. It is complex because different individuals have different explanations about families. Quite often, the answer to the question, “What is a family?” is “it depends….” In traditional Chinese society, family was another name for a patriarchal clan, including not only its current members but also its ancestors enshrined and worshiped in clan halls, and a set of feudal orders and ethical codes among kinships, based on Confucian doctrines. In contemporary China, the meanings of family may vary from person to person. From the perspective of politicians (such ...