Chinese Outcasts: Discrimination and Emancipation in Late Imperial China

Front Cover
BRILL, 1996 - Social Science - 193 pages
Outcasts and pariahs are known to exist in several Asian countries but have usually not been associated with traditional Chinese society. "Chinese Outcasts" shows that some Chinese were in fact treated as outcasts or semi-outcasts. They include the boat people of South China and certain less well-known groups in different regions, including the "musicians' households" and the "fallen people." The reasons for their inferior status and perceived impurity is examined, as well as the intent behind a series of imperial emancipation edicts in the 1720s and 30s. The edict provided an escape route from inferior legal status but failed to put a quick end to customary social discrimination.
 

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Contents

The Chinese Status System
19
Musicians Households
55
Beggars Households
76
The South China Boat People
107
The Fisherfolk of the Nine Surnames
133
Hereditary Servants in Southern Anhui
140
The Yongzheng Emancipation Edicts
163
Conclusion
171
Bibliography
179
Index
190
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Anders Hansson, Ph.D.(1988), Harvard University, currently teaches East Asian studies at the University of Edinburgh.

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