UM E-Theses Collection (澳門大學電子學位論文庫)
Women smoking cigarettes and the development of feminism in urban China during the first half of the twentieth century
English Abstract
This thesis examines the relations between the changes in women’s smoking habit and the development of feminism, the movements and ideologies to achieve equal rights and freedoms for women, in the first half of the twentieth century. From the 1910s, the urban Chinese women’s smoking habit, especially for the upper-class women, was transformed from smoking water pipe at home to smoking cigarette both at home and in public. These changes were caused not only by the introduction of cigarette but also by the development of feminism. Because the severe national crisis has happened in China since the late Qing dynasty, the Chinese intellectuals realized the importance of gender equality and female citizen’s equal rights. They led a series of political reforms and revolution, which promoted the increase of women’s legal rights. With the introduction of the Western culture, life style and products, the urban Chinese women showed their courage to show their personalities and changed their way of life rapidly, including the way they smoked. Cigarette was attractive for women because of its Western and fashionable features, and these features were strongly reinforced by cigarette advertisements and movies. However, when women got new freedom of smoking in public, they still faced the pressure of anti-smoking. Some of the discourses were filled with the traditional gender biases against women, which restricted women’s freedoms because of their inferior social status. Meanwhile, some of the anti-smoking discourses were influenced by the need of national salvation. They asked women to choose only the Chinese-brand cigarettes or quit smoking so they could stay healthy and produce offspring. Those discourses reflected that the political need would restrict some women’s freedom while it has promoted the development of feminism.
Issue Date
Deng, Ying Xin
Faculty of Social Sciences
Department of History
Women -- Tobacco use -- China
Feminism -- China -- 20th century
History -- Department of History
歷史學 -- 歷史系

Sugiyama Akiko
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