Monday, September 8, 2014

[Upcoming Seminar] Of Wives, Mothers, and Goddesses: Marriage, Childbirth, & Religiosity in Wenzhou Women’s Culture

Of Wives, Mothers, and Goddesses: Marriage, Childbirth, & Religiosity in Wenzhou Women’s Culture

Speaker: Mayfair YANG
(Professor, Religious Studies Department, East Asian Studies Department,
University of California, Santa Barbara)  
Time: 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, 16 September 2014  
Venue: LT5, Yasumoto International Academic Park, Chung Chi College, CUHK

Fieldwork in rural and small-town Wenzhou, China from the 1990’s to the present reveals a local culture that managed to preserve some traditional kinship and religious culture throughout the Maoist era. In the post-Mao era, Wenzhou has been thrust into rapid industrialization, urbanization, and globalization. Women’s culture here has moved from a system of arranged marriages, stem families, and brideprice outpacing dowry, to the new conditions of Economic Reform: birth control, nuclear families, bridal families refusing brideprice, improvements in women’s education, and women entrepreneurs and family enterprise managers. Through these dramatic social changes, how have women’s relationships with two primary goddesses changed? In what new ways do Goddess Chen the Fourteenth 陳十四娘娘and Bodhisattva Guan Yin 觀音菩薩shape women’s social roles and answer women’s prayers and needs today?



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