The Roads of Chinese Childhood: Learning and Identification in Angang

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Overview

Children in the Taiwanese fishing community of Angang have their attention drawn, consciously and unconsciously, to various forms of identification through their participation in schooling, family life and popular religion. They read texts about 'virtuous mothers', share 'meaningful foods' with other villagers, visit the altars of 'divining children' and participate in 'dangerous' god-strengthening rituals. In particular they learn about the family-based cycle of reciprocity, and the tension between this and commitment to the nation. Charles Stafford's study of childhood in this community with additional material from northeastern mainland China explores absorbing issues related to nurturance, education, family, kinship and society in its analysis of how children learn, or do not learn, to identify themselves as both familial and Chinese.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Stafford is to be congratulated for bringing original insights into the key question of what Taiwanese children learn and how they learn it. Taiwan/China specialists, comparative students of childhood experience, and those seeking a clear, lively recent survey of working-class life in rural taiwan will find this an attractive book." American Journal of Sociology

"A particular strength of the book is its description of how traditional Confucian values of filial piety are taught and learned....this book is definetly worth close study. The novice to Chinese culture, as well as those scholars who specialize in China, will find much of interest and importance in this work." Nancy Abelmann, American Anthropologist

"The comparative notes to childhood oin northeastern China which form the epilogue are particularly insightful. This book will prove valuable to scholars and students of all cultures because of its concise study of the way children are given an introduction and education into their religious and traditional background." Linda L. Lam-Easton, Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction 3
1 Two roads 17
2 Ghosts are not connexions 33
3 The proper way of being a person 56
4 Textbook mothers and frugal children 69
5 Red envelopes and the cycle of yang 79
6 Going forward bravely 112
7 Divining children 122
8 Dangerous rituals 144
9 Conclusion 166
10 Notes on childhood in northeastern China 175
Notes 186
Glossary 196
References 205
Index 211
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