The article, through the lens of crimes and court cases, explores the complex relationship between the individual, family and state in China in the XVII-XIX centuries. The research is based on archival court cases and fiction literature of traditional China. The author examines crimes committed within the family, analyses the testimony of criminals and witnesses, as well as sentences and government decrees; compares the real transcripts of court hearings with the depiction of family conflicts, investigations and trials in adventure novels and short stories by Chinese writers. As a result, the author comes to a number of conclusions, in particular, that the Qing government gradually shifted the emphasis from the value of filial piety and generational hierarchy to the special importance of marriage relations; while in public mindset, on the contrary, the inertia of Confucianism and the desire to protect the integrity and autonomy of the family body from interference by state power were extremely strong. Speaking about the reaction of the Chinese family to the crime that occurred within its ranks, the author identifies several typical ways of responding, with the choice of method being often determined by the gender of the conflicting parties.
Ames, R. T. (1994). The Art of Rulership. A Study of Ancient Chinese Political Thought. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Feng, Y. (2006). Philosophy at the Basis of Traditional Chinese Society. In Browning, D. S., Green, M. C. & Witte-Jr., J. (Eds.). Sex, Marriage and Family in World Religions (pp. 441-448). NY: Columbia University Press.
Hegel, R. A. (Ed.). (2009). True Crimes in Eighteenth-Century China. Twenty Case Histories. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Huang, L. H. (2006). Fuhui quanshu. A Complete Book Concerning Happiness and Benevolence. In Browning, D. S., Green, M. C. & Witte-Jr., J. (Eds.). Sex, Marriage and Family in World Religions (pp. 431–443). NY: Columbia University Press.
Kutcher, N. (1999). Mourning in Late Imperial China: Filial Piety and the State. NY: Cambridge University Press.
Li, J. & Wang, Y. (Eds.). (2014). An Introduction to Chinese Classics: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism. Nanjing: Jiangsu People's Publishing House.
Theiss, J. M. (2004). “Disgraceful Matters”. The Politics of Chastity in Eighteenth-Century China. Berkley, Los-Angeles, London: University of California Press.
Twitchett, D. & Fairbank, J. K. (Eds.). (2008). The Cambridge History of China. (Vol. 1). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Confucius. (2007). Analects. Moscow: Exmo. (In Russian).
Idle Dragon’s Tricks: Twenty-fiveshort stories of XVI-XVII centuries. (1989). Moscow: Khudozhestvennaya literatura. (In Russian).
Pu, Songling.( 2000). Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio. Saint Petersburg: Peterburgskoye Vostokovedenie. (In Russian).
Shi, Naian. (1955). Water Margins. (Vol.1-2). Moscow: Khudozhestvennaya literatura. (In Russian).
Shi, Yukun. (1974). The Seven Heroes and Five Gallants. Moscow: Khudozhestvennaya literatura. (In Russian).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.