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Title: The influence of the female on the architecture of the traditional Chinese house : the example of Taiwan in the nineteenth century
Author: Hwang, Bor-ling
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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The conventional view of the development of the traditional Chinese house is that the architecture, as expressed through the planning, the construction and the utilisation of space is dominated by the male. Deference to the role of the father figure and the concept of lineage which he represented has been seen to be the expense of both the physiological and psychological needs of female members of the household. Whilst accepting that, at a superficial level, provision for female needs within the home was inadequate when compared to the male, this study challenges the view that Chinese domestic architecture was uninfluenced by either the practical or cultural roles of women within the home where they spent almost the whole of their time and were almost solely responsible for the control of domestic affairs. The study is set in the context of Taiwan in the 19th century at a time when the traditional values of mainland China were being strongly re-asserted by the island's immigrant community. During this period the house was re-established as the primary focus of social order and values and discrimination - as we would view it today - against women was at its most extreme. The study examines Taiwanese domestic architecture of the period from a female perspective and argues that male attitudes and reactions towards the female - especially in relation to chastity - which manifested itself in the spatial organisation of the house were so strong that the influence of the female was evident "in the negative", but was still real and potent.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available