Modern Homes for Modern Families, Tianjin, China, 1860-1949


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


East Asian History


This dissertation focuses on the middle-class home and family in Tianjin, China (1860-1949), and examines social change in late nineteenth and early twentieth century China. It examines the space of the middle-class urban home to investigate how changes in everyday life encouraged Chinese residents to develop new concepts of gender, status, and “Chineseness.” The modern home was not only a physical, built environment but also an ideological space filled with social meaning. Actors ranging from national reformers to architects to urban women residents debated how the home should be built and how families should conduct life within its walls. Ultimately, Chinese urban families themselves formed their own identities and created their own spaces.