H. D. R. Baker's Chinese Family and Kinship PDF

By H. D. R. Baker

This can be the tale of ways one courageous scientist unlocked the secret on the middle of this so much feared of ailments. This discovery was once made in Hong Kong at first of the twentieth century, in the course of a plague that threatened to decimate the island and, from there, the realm. A demanding and scary race was once run in appalling stipulations by means of rival scientists: Alexandre Yersin - rigorous, solitary, cerebral - and the clever Kitasaka, unscrupulous, enigmatic, careless. Spiced with anecdotes, evidence and chilling reconstructions, this research of the plague within the glossy international brings a few nerve-racking proof to gentle.

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Extra resources for Chinese Family and Kinship

Sample text

Two significant points should be made here. The first is that the surname, being very much in the family sphere, was considered highly important. The Chinese contrived to make a great deal of sodal organization hang on the surname, as we shall see later on. And it is entirely in keeping with this that surnames were placed before personal names, SO that a Chinese name was (and is) always given in the order SMITH John Henry, and CHINESE FAMILY AND KINSHIP 30 never John Henry SMITH. The second point is that the major personal name which a man carried was that by which he would come to be known to posterity-his so-called posthumous name.

A Chinese in the course ofhis life could have many names, so many that scholars have devoted much time to compiling lists of the various names behind which historical characters have sheltered to the confusion ofposterity. For example, a man could have his milk name, given to him at the Full Month Feast; his book name, given by his teacher when he started his schooling; his s~le, a name which he took when he was married; his other s~le, by which he was known to his more formal acquaintances; one or more pen names ifhe wrote; an official name ifhe had offidal rank; and probably a nick-name, since the Chinese are very fond of these.

The generations stretch back thousands of years to the great ancestor parents. They stretch for thousands of years into the future, generation upon generation. Seen in proportion to this great array, the individual is but a small thing. But on the other hand no individual can drop out. Each is a link in the great chain. No one can drop out without breaking the chain. 1 To say that the individual was dominated by the family, then, is another way of saying that the individual was dominated by his Continuum ofDescent-but it happens that 'family' is a concept representative ofthe Conti nu um which we can more easily grasp.

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