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Fighting for BreathLiving Morally and Dying of Cancer in a Chinese Village$
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Anna Lora-Wainwright

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836825

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836825.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 26 October 2021

Family Relations and Contested Religious Moralities

Family Relations and Contested Religious Moralities

(p.230) Chapter 8 Family Relations and Contested Religious Moralities
Fighting for Breath

Anna Lora-Wainwright

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the interplay between the spirit world and perceptions of illness, healing, and mourning by comparing the cases of Gandie and Uncle Wang. More specifically, it considers how different religious allegiances produce different attitudes to healing and mourning, including disagreements. The chapter begins with an overview of spirit mediums and ritual revival in China, along with the historical process of differentiation between superstition, tradition, and religion. It then discusses the role of ritual practices in producing family and social relations as well as contending modes of morality. It argues that cancer treatment is a critical moment for negotiating family relations and that allegiance to the spirit world influences the ways in which these relationships are produced. Finally, it shows how villagers view the parameters of moral behavior in relation to the processes of reproduction of unequal power relations within the family.

Keywords:   spirit world, illness, healing, mourning, religious allegiances, ritual practices, social relations, morality, cancer treatment, family relations

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