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Beyond W.E.I.R.D. (Western, educated, industrial, rich, democratic)‐centric theories and perspectives: masculinity and fathering in Chinese societies

Li, Xuan; Hu, Yang; Huang, Ching‐Yu Soar; Chuang, Susan S.

Authors

Xuan Li

Yang Hu

Susan S. Chuang



Abstract

Fatherhood scholarship has made much theoretical progress over the past decades, yet existing models and concepts continue to draw primarily on western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD)-centric assumptions. This review uses demographically sizeable, culturally significant, yet understudied and undertheorized Chinese fathers as an example to reveal the limitations of applying WEIRD-centric perspectives when studying fathering and fatherhood. Specifically, existing models and concepts of fathering and fatherhood, with an emphasis on father involvement, especially in rough-and-tumble play, are predicated on the assumptions of nuclear family and western hegemonic masculinity. The Chinese cultural tradition, in contrast, endorses a literatus masculinity and emphasizes the family lineage, thereby encouraging fathers' educational involvement and inviting grandparental care. These cultural traditions intersect with unfolding social developments in contemporary Chinese societies to shape fathering ideals and practices. A full, routine inclusion of non-WEIRD fathers, such as Chinese fathers, promises to benefit the scholarship on fathering and fatherhood as a whole.

Citation

Li, X., Hu, Y., Huang, C. S., & Chuang, S. S. (2021). Beyond W.E.I.R.D. (Western, educated, industrial, rich, democratic)‐centric theories and perspectives: masculinity and fathering in Chinese societies. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 13(3), 317-333. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12403

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 12, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 4, 2021
Publication Date 2021-09
Deposit Date May 30, 2023
Journal Journal of Family Theory & Review
Print ISSN 1756-2570
Electronic ISSN 1756-2589
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 3
Pages 317-333
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12403
Keywords Social Sciences (miscellaneous); Social Psychology; Health (social science)