Low-class Commoners during the Koryŏ Dynasty

Low-class Commoners during the Koryŏ Dynasty

Journal

  • Journal title: International Journal of Korean History
  • ISSN: 1598-2041 (print) 2508-5921 (online)
  • Publisher: Korea University, Center for Korean History
  • Country of publisher: korea, republic of
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2018/May/12

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: History
  • Publisher's keywords: Commoners, during, Koryŏ Dynasty
  • Language of fulltext: english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF

AUTHORS

    Nan-ok Kim

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

FULL TEXT

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ABSTRACT

The Chosŏn society was one in which the yangban (aristocracy) wielded tremendous power. The role of women in this society was influenced greatly by the yangban class’ attempts to establish a patriarchal family order and a Confucian-based society. For example, women were forced, in accordance with neo-Confucian ideology, to remain chaste before marriage and barred from remarrying once their husbands had passed away. As far as the marriage system was concerned, the Chosŏn era saw a move away from the old tradition of the man moving into his in-laws house following the wedding (男歸女家婚 namgwiyŏgahon), with the woman now expected to move in with her husband’s family following the marriage (親迎制度 ch΄inyŏng jedo). Moreover, wives were rigidly divided into two categories: legitimate wife (ch΄ŏ) and concubines (ch΄ŏp). This period also saw a change in the legal standing of women with regards to inheritance, as the system was altered from the practice of equal, from a gender standpoint, rights to inheritance, to one in which the eldest son became the sole inheritor. These neo-Confucianist inspired changes contributed to the strengthening of the patriarchal system during the Chosŏn era. As a result of these changes, Chosŏn women’s rights and activities became increasingly restricted.

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