Law, Marriage, and Gender Construction in Communist China, 1940-1960


American Research in the Humanities in China




Shaanxi Normal University (Xi'An)


This research project examines the social and cultural significance of Communist legal practice in constructing marriage and gender relations in twentieth-century China. In particular, through the analysis of a high-profile legal case of 1943 that disputed traditional arranged marriage in the Communist region, the study will shed light on how the Communist concepts of marriage and gender relations were reconstructed in a particular cultural and social setting through a complicated process of legal exercise. Furthermore, through analysis of various cultural productions (i.e. operas, movie, etc.) based on this case, this study offers a unique window into gender relations, culture and politics in China during a period of intense nation building led by the Communist regime.