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Bridging Generations in Taiwan

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Chen Family: A Life of Hard Work Chapter 3: Han Family: From Accepting Fate to Shaping It Chapter 4: Lin Family: From Oppression to Liberation Chapter 5: Wang Family: Generations Apart Chapter 6: Lee Family: Bitter Lives Chapter 7: Comparison of Narrative Tropes and Lifestyle Activities Chapter 8: Conclusion

About the Author

Philip Silverman is emeritus professor of anthropology at California State University, Bakersfield. Shienpei Chang is researcher at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research.


Imagine Taiwan society as an inherently ambiguous and slowly morphing jungle gym. Some bars and posts are firm, dependable or unavoidable: enforced laws, hard-shelled demographic events, market values. Others are rubbery, unreliable or flexible: taxes easily evaded, fictive kinship ties, prices for `special customers.' Some are merely notional: norms of filial piety, social values, selves. With admirable transparency, Philip Silverman and Shienpei Chang show five mother-daughters pairs struggling through these limitations and opportunities toward safe perches and acceptable identities in their complex, cosmopolitan world. -- Hill Gates, Central Michigan University This book provides an intimate look into the lives of two generations of rural, working class Taiwanese women, revealing how Taiwanese women combine tradition and individual lifestyles under conditions of high modernity. It will be relevant to women's studies, but also to readers interested in how individuals create and maintain life-worlds within the social constraints of their times. -- Scott Simon, University of Ottawa That Taiwan experienced profound changes in the postwar period is not news, but the way Bridging Generations in Taiwan brings those transformations to life is new, and startling. The struggles of two generations of Taiwanese women recounted in this book offer a fresh perspective on the suffering and endurance on which the island's economic, social, and political `miracles' are built. -- Shelley Rigger, Davidson College

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