The Position of Women During the Han Dynasty Research Paper by Master Researcher

The Position of Women During the Han Dynasty
Examines the status of women in Confucian theory, as seen in the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.)
# 32549 | 3,650 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2002 | US

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The focus of this paper is the role of women during the Han period, specifically, the marriage relationship, and women's roles within this union. The paper argues that women played a clearly subordinate role to men in Confucian theory, although this was part of the natural hierarchical differentiation in which harmony would ultimately be achieved. The paper then postulates a sort of prototype of the ideal Confucian woman of the time.

From the Paper:

"This statement from the Analects sums up the subordinate position of women in Confucian theory. Above all, Confucianism stressed duty and hierarchy. This is to say that both social institutions and basic human relationships were governed by a set of defined roles to which each group or individual conformed to the appropriate place within the hierarchy. These defined roles manifested themselves within the five cardinal relationships: parent/child; ruler/subject; elder brother/younger brother; friend/friend; and husband/wife. Women's roles were clearly delineated according to these five fundamental relationships which defined their proper conduct along with their duties and responsibilities. But what were these assigned roles to which women were confined by their gender? By and large, the family circumscribed the realm of women, especially those who were married. Here, a woman was to devote herself to the service of her husband and his family, and to do her best to bear him an heir."

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The Position of Women During the Han Dynasty (2003, October 12) Retrieved June 05, 2023, from

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"The Position of Women During the Han Dynasty" 12 October 2003. Web. 05 June. 2023. <>