Cultivation of virtue: Women's practices and gender issuesduring the Song era (960-1279)

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/280429
Title:
Cultivation of virtue: Women's practices and gender issuesduring the Song era (960-1279)
Author:
Lu, Hui-tzu
Issue Date:
2003
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Idealized presentations of female behavior prescribed by Ban Zhao (A.D. 45-120) and later male Confucians defined women in the role of inner helpers, thus confining them to the domestic arena. Close scrutiny of data however reveals a cluster of new values for Song women evident through personal cultivation and devotional practices both "within" and "without" the inner sphere. This dissertation offers a preliminary investigation of Song women's practices such as bodily and spiritual cultivations as well as their devotional and philanthropic activities. It examines why and how these specific inner and outer practices evolved into regnant womanly practices that ultimately becarne exemplary behaviors during the Song period. Through the lens of female daily practices, this study also investigates the diverse interactions between genders in the Song era. The first part of this dissertation explores Song women's bodily and spiritual observances within the inner quarters. Song women performed bodily cultivations through various forms of ascetic behaviors, including fasting, vegetarianism, the abstinence from slaughtering living beings, and seclusion in their daily lives, which can be deemed gendered practices. Spiritual cultivation through religious practices such as sutra recitation and other related observances functioned not only as accessible avenues of female spiritual pursuits, but also served as alternative conduits for Song women's literary aspirations. Part Two first discusses the gender discourse and the tension between the norms and historical reality during the Song. The last two chapters examine Song women's practices such as their religious offerings and involvement in community public works and philanthropy outside the domestic realm. In contrast to women's inner practices, women's outer sphere endeavors put their personal cultivation and volition into practice, and also extended their influential financial autonomy beyond the domestic arena into the greater society. This study concludes that despite deviations from conventional Confucian values, these inner and outer womanly practices were perceived as paragons of female virtues. Lastly, it suggests a negotiated process in the workings of gender in the Song culture.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
History, Asia, Australia and Oceania.; Women's Studies.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; East Asian Studies
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
McKnight, Brian; Pao-Tao, Chia-lin

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleCultivation of virtue: Women's practices and gender issuesduring the Song era (960-1279)en_US
dc.creatorLu, Hui-tzuen_US
dc.contributor.authorLu, Hui-tzuen_US
dc.date.issued2003en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIdealized presentations of female behavior prescribed by Ban Zhao (A.D. 45-120) and later male Confucians defined women in the role of inner helpers, thus confining them to the domestic arena. Close scrutiny of data however reveals a cluster of new values for Song women evident through personal cultivation and devotional practices both "within" and "without" the inner sphere. This dissertation offers a preliminary investigation of Song women's practices such as bodily and spiritual cultivations as well as their devotional and philanthropic activities. It examines why and how these specific inner and outer practices evolved into regnant womanly practices that ultimately becarne exemplary behaviors during the Song period. Through the lens of female daily practices, this study also investigates the diverse interactions between genders in the Song era. The first part of this dissertation explores Song women's bodily and spiritual observances within the inner quarters. Song women performed bodily cultivations through various forms of ascetic behaviors, including fasting, vegetarianism, the abstinence from slaughtering living beings, and seclusion in their daily lives, which can be deemed gendered practices. Spiritual cultivation through religious practices such as sutra recitation and other related observances functioned not only as accessible avenues of female spiritual pursuits, but also served as alternative conduits for Song women's literary aspirations. Part Two first discusses the gender discourse and the tension between the norms and historical reality during the Song. The last two chapters examine Song women's practices such as their religious offerings and involvement in community public works and philanthropy outside the domestic realm. In contrast to women's inner practices, women's outer sphere endeavors put their personal cultivation and volition into practice, and also extended their influential financial autonomy beyond the domestic arena into the greater society. This study concludes that despite deviations from conventional Confucian values, these inner and outer womanly practices were perceived as paragons of female virtues. Lastly, it suggests a negotiated process in the workings of gender in the Song culture.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectHistory, Asia, Australia and Oceania.en_US
dc.subjectWomen's Studies.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEast Asian Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMcKnight, Brianen_US
dc.contributor.advisorPao-Tao, Chia-linen_US
dc.identifier.proquest3108925en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b44829322en_US
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