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2015/16 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST3150 Women and Family in Chinese Society

20 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Heather Zhang

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2015/16

Pre-requisite qualifications

Having passed EAST1070 or relevant modules in either social studies, development studies or East Asian studies or equivalent.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module examines the changing roles of women, the family structure and gender relations in contemporary China. It looks at the influences of the relevant ideologies and theories for the familial institutions in China. It explores the ways in which these institutions have been shaped and reshaped by wider economic, societal and political changes, their variations over time and space, and their impact on women's position and gendered power both within and outside the household. Issues that will be tackled include Confucian ideology, patriarchy and the traditional gender roles and expectations in the family, community and society; the Chinese revolutions and their remifications for the familial institutions; state socialism and its meanings for gender relations; legislation and reality in respect of protecting the rights and interests of women and children; gender, work, education, health and female empowerment; fertility, the family and population policies; sex, sexuality and sexual politics; STD, HIV/AIDS and gendered vulnerability, etc. Teaching methods will be a mixture of lectures, seminars and video-based learning. Students will be expected to make seminar presentations.


On completion of this module, students will have an understanding of the place of women in traditional Chinese society and the workings of the Chinese family. They will have learnt to view both the Chinese women's movement and the family revolution in China in the context of the general problems of modernisation.


The course provides an introduction to the Chinese family and to gender relations in Chinese society. After a brief look at 19th century norms, it turns to a consideration of the efforts of Chinese social reformers to promote family revolution and looks at women under the communist revolution.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours172.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students' progress is monitored through their active participation in regular seminars and lecturer's guidance and feedback throughout the course.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay6,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 24/04/2015


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