The Effects of Patriarchal Kinship Expansion on Differential Mortality between Husband and Wife in Joseon, 1500-1900

Keong suk Park , Seoul National University
Heejin Park, Kyungpook National University
Kwangryeol Baek, The Academy of Korean Studies
Youn Jung Bae, seoul national university

The present study examined family genealogy conducted in Joseon to figure out the changing status of women according to the spread of patriarchal culture. As Joseon genealogy contains records about the dates when husbands and wives were born and passed away, it can help to measure differential mortality between husband and wife from the 1500s to 1900. The study also identified the change in the scope of patriarchal kinship generation, which can be measured as a proxy variable to examine the effects of the patriarchal expansion. In Joseon, individuals’ names generally consist of family name and first names. In a patrilineal kinship, all the relatives of the same generation would have not only the same family name, but also a common letter for their first names. The same letter of the first name for the same generation, is called as Hangryeol. The scope of Hangryeol would be expanded as the patriarchal family order became enforced. The use of a common Hangryeol letter indicates that they were members of the same patrilineal family, meaning the enforcement of the patriarchal family relation. The present study evinces the effects of spreading Hangryoel on differential mortality between husbands and wives and provides the empirical evidence of the effects of patriarchal kinship system on gender differential in mortality.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality