Cultural Overview

China is an agrarian civilization in the process of becoming a urbanized society. Its image of the ideal family is intertwined with a rural heritage organized around the principles of patrilineal descent and patrilocal residence. In many parts of China, there were surname organizations, based on descent from a common ancestor that was reckoned exclusively through males, with memberships ranging from several hundred to over ten thousand. These associations provided the foundation of community organization (Johnson, 1983, p. 8). On the maternal side, kinship ties had significance primarily among the very rich (who use marriage to foster political and economic alliance) and the very poor (who needed mutual cooperation networks to survive) (Johnson, 1983, p. 8).

In practice, family structures varied geographically and with social class. Nevertheless, there were a few commonalities that are pan-Chinese. Women who left their natal family at marriage were viewed by the male's family as outsiders. It was not until the birth of a male child that a woman's status became more secure. Even then, she embraced her children as the primary source of emotional comfort and future security. Men, on the other hand, were linked to their father's patrilineage while remaining emotionally bonded to their mothers. Many Chinese mothers were perpetually anxious about being emotionally replaced by their daughters-in-law.

The urban Chinese family is organized primarily into two different forms: nuclear and stem. While the nuclear family is the preferred form of family arrangement, most Chinese, at one time or another, will enter into some form of stem family arrangement (i.e., a family with a married couple, children, and another relative, usually a parent). In urban China the family is organized around notions of bilateral descent and neolocal residence practices. The conjugal bond is embraced over the extended family.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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