Upwardly Mobile Women in Urban China: Negotiating Gender Norms and Class
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Arriane Gaetanao, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Director of Women’s Studies Program, Auburn University - China’s economic growth and urbanization have created new social mobility opportunities for women through education, migration, and employment. But with shifts in social class and status, new challenges arise, especially as these impact on gender norms. In this talk, Dr. Gaetano considers women of different socioeconomic status in the metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai, particularly rural migrant workers and educated urban professionals, who are in their 20s and 30s and unmarried or newly married. Dr. Gaetano draws upon relevant literature as well as her own ethnographic research in Beijing in the 2000s and in Shanghai in the 2010s. Focusing on these populations illuminates conundrums women face as they strive to fulfill normative gender role expectations of marriage and family, on the one hand, and their own aspirations for personal growth and autonomy, on the other. The juxtaposition of two distinct groups of women further highlights how gender intersects with social positionality to shape their unique dispositions and options regarding marriage, as well as their different strategies and resources to negotiate gender norms.
Video of full lecture with presentation slides edited into the video.
Cornell East Asia Program
East Asia Program, Cornell University
history; East Asia; China; marriage; women
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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