Janice E. Stockard Ph.D.

Anthropologist, Author, Educator, Editor
Daughters of the Canton Delta | Janice E. Stockard

Daughters of the Canton Delta:

Marriage Patterns and Economic Strategies in South China, 1860-1930

Stockard’s first book Daughters of the Canton Delta (Stanford) is based on three years of field research she conducted in South China where her interviews focused on changing family and marriage practices with industrialization in the area’s silk industry. In Daughters, she analyzes how new silk technology impacted the lives, marriage choices, and families of women of several generations in South China. On the basis of more than 300 interviews, Stockard maps out developments in silk technology over time and space – and links these technological changes to regional change in family and marriage practices.


Stockard has uncovered and meticulously documented startling marriage practices… This is a splendid book. It is well-argued and well written…It should be read by anyone with a serious interest in the cross-cultural dimensions of marriage.

This is an especially engaging book, combing as it does careful ethnography and a sustained effort to explain the cultural patterns that it uncovers… Anyone with an interest in village culture in South China will find much to appreciate in the book.

Stockard has discovered a unique site from which to study the wider panorama of Chinese culture and history. Her vantage point offers an unanticipated and revealing perspective on Chinese notions of women and propriety, marriage and money, family and lineage, and the relationship between imperial orthodoxy and village practice…Even long-time observers of the Chinses landscape will find new things to ponder.

The field of Chinese kinship has been ploughed many time, yet there are still treasures to be turned up. Stockard treats us to an insight into her own excited discovery of one of these.

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