Monday, September 28, 2020

Du on filiality and falsity in Qing China

Last year, Yue Du (Cornell University) published "Policies and Counterstrategies: State-Sponsored Filiality and False Accusation in Qing China" in the International Journal of Asian Studies 16 (2019), 79-97. Here's the abstract: 

Using court cases culled from various national and local archives in China, this article examines two strategies widely employed by Qing litigants to manipulate state-sponsored filiality to advance their perceived interests in court: “instrumental filicide to lodge a false accusation” and “false accusation of unfiliality.” While Qing subjects were willing and able to exploit the legalized inequality between parent and child for profit-seeking purposes, the Qing imperial state tolerated such maneuvering so as to co-opt local negotiations to reinforce orthodox notions of the parent–child hierarchy in its subjects’ everyday lives. Local actors, who appealed to the Qing legal promotion of parental dominance and filial obedience to empower themselves, were recruited into the Qing state's project of moral penetration and social control, with law functioning as a conduit and instrument that gave the design of “ruling the empire through the principle of filial piety” a concrete legal form in imperial governance.

Further information is available here

--Mitra Sharafi