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Transformative JourneysTravel and Culture in Song China$
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Cong Ellen Zhang

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833992

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833992.001.0001

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Rituals of Departure

Rituals of Departure

Farewell Parties

(p.111) Chapter 5 Rituals of Departure
Transformative Journeys

Cong Ellen Zhang

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter looks at farewell rituals in order to illustrate the centrality of homosocial friendship in the lives of Song men. Recent scholarship has in fact pointed to an affinity between travel and male friendship. In traditional China, to have many male friends was often considered an important badge of masculinity since it bespoke a man's ability to travel and meet other men outside his family and beyond his hometown, thus making it a manly accomplishment, whereas a woman was required by Confucian norms to be confined within the boundary of the household. Moreover, this chapter argues that participation in farewell rituals greatly shaped these men's gender identity. The lens of shared travel experience helps shed light on the complex ways masculinities were constructed in the Song.

Keywords:   farewell rituals, homosocial friendships, male friendships, masculinity, gender identity, travel experiences

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