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Date 2021-03-12


Gender Consciousness Reflected in Taiwanese Minnan Proverbs


Chiang, Bao-Chai

Professor, Department of Chinese Literature and Graduate Institute of Taiwan Literature, National Chung Cheng University


This paper employs personal memory, as well as material retrieved from fieldwork and textual sources concerning gender in Taiwanese Minnan proverbs as its primary data, with folksongs as its auxiliary data, to analyze Taiwanese family relationships under the clan system and the gender consciousness evident in those relationships, as well as the manner in which the social position of women is represented differently in different areas of the island, and what changes were produced in those positions after experiencing contact with Indigenous peoples. From this research we discover that, in many ways, ideas about the female body, sexual imagination and gender autonomy diverge from the traditional Chinese framework, thus resulting in what cultural anthropologists refer to as “localization”. The consciousness of gender diversity and its continuity with social meaning manifested as a background to these alterations in gender consciousness is worthy of our consideration.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature