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BETWEEN COMPLIANCE AND RESISTANCE: THE DIVERSIFIED MIDDLE CLASS FEMININITIES OF MIGRANT PROFESSIONAL WOMEN IN BEIJING

Wang, Shuaili (2019) BETWEEN COMPLIANCE AND RESISTANCE: THE DIVERSIFIED MIDDLE CLASS FEMININITIES OF MIGRANT PROFESSIONAL WOMEN IN BEIJING. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Since the beginning of market reform in 1978, a widening gap has been created between the more marketised and the less marketised regions of China. With the loosening of hukou restrictions, people have been permitted to migrate from inland areas to costal open zones, from rural areas to urban areas, in order to pursue better employment opportunities. There is an increasing amount of research on working-class migrants who float between rural and urban areas. Studies of working-class migrant women have explored how the migration experience changed women’s position and gender relations in the family. Little research, however, has been done on well-educated migrant women. This thesis aims to illuminate the way migration transforms well-educated migrant women’s gender ideals. Based on semi-structured interviews with 29 well-educated migrant women in Beijing, I investigate themes of young migrant women’s career development paths, premarital partner choice, and marriage and childcare strategies. In the specific social and economic context of Beijing, well-educated migrant women either choose to take a conventional role in the family by taking on care responsibilities and relying on their husband as the main family provider, or choose to postpone child bearing, or even abandon marriage and explore new roles in the workplace and in intimate relationships. No matter what their choices are, marriage relations in China remain patriarchal. Migrant professional women in Beijing have adopted different strategies of compliance, co-operation or resistance in order to deal with this gender order, and establish ‘feminized professionalism’ in a masculinised market economy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Women's Studies (York)
Depositing User: Dr. Shuaili Wang
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 13:51
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2019 13:51
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24036

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