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The Research of Village Interpersonal Relationship in Qing Dynasty

Author: WangZuo
Tutor: DuJiaZuo
School: Nankai University
Course: History of Ancient China
Keywords: Qing Dynasty Rural Society Baodi County Interpersonal Interaction Daily Life
CLC: C912
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 54
Quote: 0
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The interpersonal relationship in the village was formed by rural residents as a result of co-production and daily interactions. To study daily interactions of rural residents of the Qing dynasty on the basis of grass-root administrative unit can help us to fully understand and outline the rural life, giving us insight into Chinese traditional society. Due to the lack of literature, the study of the interpersonal relationship in the village of Chinese traditional society is basically a blank. A large of judicial files of the Qing Dynasty provides a unique condition in order to carry out related research. This article utilized the judicial files of Baodi County and some other files that can reflect the social relationship of grass-root society to carry on research in this field.In rural China, after years of accumulation, geopolitical relationship brought everyone together. The village relationship presented the characteristics of the coexistence of cooperation and conflict. In everyday life, people not only cooperated and assisted with each other, but also argued for trivial matters with each other. However, the rift did not hurt their feelings. Traditional ethics and values be reconciled between those two, which allow the coexistence of cooperation and conflict to reach a delicate balance and maintain the overall stability and harmony of the village society.In Chinese traditional society where the peasant economy is the mainstay, the landowner-tenant relations and the employer-employee relations are the most common relations of production. Studying the interactions of people in the perspective of previous two relationships instead of the economic system, class struggle centered research mode showed the real condition of their daily interactions.The accommodation of monetary funds and their alternative means is an important integral part of life and production. In the accommodation process, borrowing and trading are the most common economic activities. As to borrowing relationship, the borrowing and lending of funds between rural residents of the Qing dynasty reflected the characteristics of mutual aid low-interest or interest-free. Studying land pawning and general commodity trading can show the complex and diverse trading relationship in the village life.In individual-centered interpersonal network in rural areas, Green Crop Societies as the representative of rural self-governing organizations brought the villagers together effectively by organizing people to protect their crops. The actions organized by Green Crop Societies showed a wealth of interpersonal communication between the management and the ordinary congregation. Some people worked together to safeguard their common interests and some people were driven by personal interests. Crop-watching organizations jointly safeguard the balance of the public order in rural society.The relationship between men and women has been the eternal theme of human society. To date, the knowledge of the relationship between men and women in traditional society tends to stay in a very general level, lacking of detailed and in-depth understanding. Combing through daily affairs in the judicial files and crime case reports, we can see that at least in the majority of the village society of the Qing Dynasty, daily interactions between men and women showed moderate free and loose characteristics to adapt the requirements of the production and life of ordinary people. But it does not mean that people completely abandoned chastity idea. The easy environment for relations between two genders was scaled by chastity idea, which effectively safeguarded women’s innocence and reputation. In addition, in order to maintain grace and decent, in the process of interaction of men and women, men would avoid a head-on collision with women and solve problems by communicating with the male relatives of the women. It contributed to the harmony and stability of village order.In addition to the research of Baodi County, when our view extends to Zhejiang Sichuan and Guangdong, we can see similarities and differences among those areas. In these regions, villagers’ daily interactions and conflicts were similar. It presented that villagers followed common traditional morality and sense of worth. But due to the differences of historical conditions and the level of economic development, relations of production and economic relations showed their differences. Interregional comparative study may help us to comprehensively understand the characteristics of village relationship in Qing Dynasty.

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