The paper gives an insight into the system of values and preferences in the traditional patrilineal Chinese society, especially gender stereotypes, moral standards and expectations connected with women, their life roles and their social status. For more than 3000 years of the history of China women had held an inferior status in family and society, and they were mainly seen in the role of homemakers, dependent on their fathers, husbands or sons. In terms of female 'professional' or 'daily life' activities some various social-professional groups of women have been distinguished. These are: exemplary mothers, wives and daughters; imperial court ladies; singsong girls and prostitutes; Buddhist or Taoist nuns; women with outstanding achievements in various domains of intellectual, artistic or political activities. The investigation is based upon the research material consisting of biographical notes of 999 famous Chinese women, born in various periods of the history of China to approximately 1880, and selected from two Chinese biographical dictionaries.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.