During the late imperial era (1500-1911), China, though divided by ethnic, linguistic, and regional differences at least as great as those prevailing in Europe, enjoyed a remarkable solidarity. What held Chinese society together for so many centuries? Some scholars have pointed to the institutional control over the written word as instrumental in promoting cultural homogenization; others, the manipulation of the performing arts. This volume, comprised of essays by both anthropologists and historians, furthers this important discussion by examining the role of death rituals in the unification of Chinese culture.
Susan Naquin, "Funerals in North China: Uniformity and Variation"
Stuart E. Thompson, "Feeding the Dead: The Role of Food in Chinese Funerary Ritual" James L. Watson, "Pollution, Performance, and the Structure of Rites"
Elizabeth L. Johnson, "Grieving for the Dead, Grieving for the Living: Funeral Laments of Hakka Women"
Emily Martin, "Gender and Ideological Differences in Representations of Life and Death" Myron L. Cohen, "Souls and Salvation: Conflicting Themes in Chinese Popular Religion"
Rubie S. Watson, "Remembering the Dead: Graves and Politics in South China"
Evelyn S. Rawski, "The Imperial Way of Death"
Frederic Wakeman, Jr., "Mao's Remains"
Martin K. Whyte, "Death in the People's Republic of China"
James L. Watson is Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University and Evelyn S. Rawski is Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh.