Filial Obsessions

Chinese Patriliny and Its Discontents

  • P. Steven Sangren

Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. P. Steven Sangren
    Pages 1-12
  3. P. Steven Sangren
    Pages 57-80
  4. P. Steven Sangren
    Pages 133-166
  5. P. Steven Sangren
    Pages 167-216
  6. P. Steven Sangren
    Pages 283-327
  7. P. Steven Sangren
    Pages 329-343
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 345-381

About this book


This book employs a broad analysis of Chinese patriliny to propose a distinctive theoretical conceptualization of the role of desire in culture. It utilizes a unique synthesis of Marxian and psychoanalytic insights in arguing that Chinese patriliny is best understood as, simultaneously, “a mode of production of desire” and as “instituted fantasy.” The argument advances through discussions and analyses of kinship, family, gender, filial piety, ritual, and (especially) mythic narratives. In each of these domains, P. Steven Sangren addresses the complex sentiments and ambivalences associated with filial relations. Unlike most earlier studies which approach Chinese patriliny and filial piety as irreducible markers of cultural difference, Sangren argues that Chinese patriliny is better approached as a topic of critical inquiry in its own right. 


Psychology Anthropology Psychological Anthropology Psychoanalytic Theory Asian Studies Gender & Sexuality Studies Marxian Social Analysis Chinese Studies Chinese History Religious studies Chinese Patriliny Chinese Family and Gender Gender Ideology

Authors and affiliations

  • P. Steven Sangren
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Bibliographic information