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Questioning Patrilineality: On Western Studies of the Japanese Ie

Questioning Patrilineality: On Western Studies of the Japanese Ie (1600- 1867) and modern (1868- 1945) Japanese society, but despite four decades of research a consensus concerning its nature is still lacking.’ T h e 1947 civil code abolished the ie, but its ideals have continued to influence attitudes and behavior in the postwar period, especially among Japanese educated according to pre-World War 11 ideals. le has been rendered in English in diverse ways- as “family,” suggesting the centrality of kinship; as “house” or “household,” stressing the importance of the members’ coresidence; as “stem family,” highlighting the ties between parents and the succeeding child; and as “corporate group,” emphasizing common economic and ritual activities. I will not attempt to define the ie in the introduction, for the problem of characterizing the ie in Western scholarship and the significance of this problem are the central concerns of this essay.* Instead, I will probe disjunctures between conceptualizations and descriptions of 0 1996 by Duke University Press Japanese practices and attitudes in many postwar English-language works that discuss i and some that discuss d6zo&, a hierarchical grouping of i . e e3 le research is interesting precisely because of the tension between the generalizations of Western scholars and Japanese social practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Questioning Patrilineality: On Western Studies of the Japanese Ie

positions asia critique , Volume 4 (3) – Dec 1, 1996

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1996 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-4-3-569
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

(1600- 1867) and modern (1868- 1945) Japanese society, but despite four decades of research a consensus concerning its nature is still lacking.’ T h e 1947 civil code abolished the ie, but its ideals have continued to influence attitudes and behavior in the postwar period, especially among Japanese educated according to pre-World War 11 ideals. le has been rendered in English in diverse ways- as “family,” suggesting the centrality of kinship; as “house” or “household,” stressing the importance of the members’ coresidence; as “stem family,” highlighting the ties between parents and the succeeding child; and as “corporate group,” emphasizing common economic and ritual activities. I will not attempt to define the ie in the introduction, for the problem of characterizing the ie in Western scholarship and the significance of this problem are the central concerns of this essay.* Instead, I will probe disjunctures between conceptualizations and descriptions of 0 1996 by Duke University Press Japanese practices and attitudes in many postwar English-language works that discuss i and some that discuss d6zo&, a hierarchical grouping of i . e e3 le research is interesting precisely because of the tension between the generalizations of Western scholars and Japanese social practice.

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 1996

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