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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST3150 Women and Family in Chinese Society

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Caroline Fielder

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module examines the changing roles of women, the family structure and gender relations in Chinese society. It looks at the influences of the relevant ideologies and theories for the familial institutions. 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 (including topics such as work, education, sex and health); modernisation and its ramifications for the family; legislation and the rights and interests of women and children; 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.

Learning outcomes
1) Develop a critical understanding of the role of women and family in Chinese societies, centring on the module’s key themes.

2) Critically examine how ideologies and practices around gender and family have been constructed and challenged over time

3) Analyse, interpret and assess a range of materials relating to Chinese society and the experiences and perspectives of women, men and children

4) Demonstrate enhanced study, writing and communication skills, in written work, oral presentation and seminar discussions.

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Identify historical and current understandings of issues facing women and families in the Chinese context;
- Critically engage with the major theories surrounding gender and family life in a Chinese context;
- Have an understanding of challenges facing women and family within Chinese society;
- Demonstrate skills of analysis and interpretation through seminar presentations, class discussion and the writing of a 1,000 word literature review and a 3,000 word essay.


The module 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 hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to prepare for lectures and seminars by reading the material listed in the module handbook and on VLE. This requires students to read widely, carefully reflect on the relevant arguments and ideas, take notes and summarise texts in preparation for seminar discussions. Students are also expected to engage in independent research when preparing their essays, literature review and in-class presentations. Students will have a list of required reading and supplementary reading for each week, as well as a list of key discussion questions for each seminar.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be provided with formative feedback through direct interaction (including verbal and non-verbal feedback) in class which makes explicit links to published assessment criteria and goals; encouraging peer feedback through activities (including student-led discussions and encouraging peer feedback model which teaches ways of delivering and receiving constructive feedback); use of online pinboards to comment on and reflect on resources; drafting, critiquing and revising notes and mini-assignment; targeted invitations to use feedback and advice hours for specific pieces of work.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words75.00
Literature Review1000 words25.00
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: 29/04/2022 15:23:30


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