Technology and Gender. Fabrics of Power in Late Imperial China. FRANCESCA BRAY.

Technology and Gender. Fabrics of Power in Late Imperial China.

Berkeley. University of California Press. 1997. Stock ID #131284

Maps, black and white illustrations, xvi + 419pp, bibliography, index, paperback, some extremities wear, name half-title, edges little soiled, very good overall. In this feminist history of eight centuries of private life in China, the author inserts women into the history of technology and adds technology to the history of women. Bray takes issue with the Orientalist image that traditional Chinese women were imprisoned in the inner quarters, deprived of freedom and dignity, and so physically and morally deformed by footbinding and the tyrannies of patriachy that they were incapable of productive work. She proposes a concept of "gynotechnics", a set of everyday technologies that define women's roles, as a creative new way to explore how societies translate moral and social principles into a web of material forms and bodily practices. This work examines three different aspects of domestic life in China, tracing their developments from 1000 to 1800 AD. It begins with the shell of domesticity, the house, focusing on how domestic space embodied hierachies of gender. The text follows the shift in the textile industry from domestic production to commercial production. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 131284).

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