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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis challenges the notion that China was a dowry society. The majority of the population before 1949 practiced indirect dowry, which is the goods originated from the groom's family as brideprice and terminated in the new conjugal household as dowry, after a possible deduction by the bride's father. In post-revolutionary China the brideprice component of indirect dowry was elaborated as a result of change in social and economic structures. In post-revolutionary China, brideprice prevails in rural areas and "thoussaou" dominates in urban areas. Household structure, unit of production, patrilocality in addition to women's labor value contribute to the different practices. Household structure may determine the form of marriage transaction in spite of the existence of other factors. The strong correlation between women's high labor value and brideprice does not hold true every time. Neolocal residence and nuclear family should be advocated if brideprice is to be eliminated.
Degree ProgramGraduate College