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Unequal Care, Unequal Work: Toward a more Comprehensive Understanding of Gender Inequality in Post-Reform Urban China

Authors JI, Yingchun
Wu, Xiaogang View this author's profile
Sun, Shengwei
He, Guangye
Issue Date 2017
Source Sex Role , 16 March 2017, p. 1-14
Summary Over the last four decades, as China has transitioned from a socialist centralized economy to a productivity-and-efficiency-oriented market economy, so too have the country’s public and private spheres become increasingly differentiated. Although others attribute changing gender inequality to the market transition, we draw from Chinese feminist critical analyses and propose a theoretical framework regarding how the two-sphere separation in contemporary China, embedded in how gender equality was organized in the socialist time, has been driven by the state and is further justified by changing gender ideologies. We review the existing literature and identify gaps in research on how women’s disadvantages in the public and private spheres—in the labor market and within the family—mutually reinforce each other in post-reform urban China. We also discuss how the dynamics of, and interactions between, the two spheres are justified by a changing gender ideology. Finally, by exploring gender inequality in the process of the two-sphere separation in a transitional context, we make an important contribution to the general sociological and gender literature.
ISSN 0360-0025
Language English
Format Article
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