Changing the face of the urban economy: The intersection of household and state in Beijing
AuthorCurrier, Carrie Liu
AdvisorWillerton, John P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation examines the Chinese economy, using the literatures on East Asian development, political economy, and feminist theory to assess the impact that the post-1978 economic reforms have had on women in Beijing. I argue that the socialist ideal of equality for women in the labor market is not yet realized, but neither are the deteriorating conditions for women believed to exist as a capitalist form of development has evolved. Instead I present a model that highlights the importance of the relationship between the state and the household in formulating policy that has changed the status of women in ways that were previously unanticipated. To illustrate these claims I draw on survey research conducted in Beijing from September 2001 to July 2002, with data collected from 292 women aged 20-60. Using a cohort analysis, I conclude that government agencies have been ultimately instrumental in enhancing the social and economic status for some urban women. Policy measures such as the One Child Policy, SOE restructuring, and development of the IOE sector never aimed to improve the fate of women, obviously, yet the timing of the policies has allowed some women to prosper and to avoid the unemployment problems now facing many urban men. The economic and institutional changes that have occurred under marketization are also paving the way for political reform, as women are increasing their awareness of gendered policies and are empowering themselves. These findings refute the popular claims that women have experienced increased gender discrimination and have fared worse under Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin's economic reforms than under Mao. In fact it raises challenging questions about our understanding of communist regimes' adaptation to capitalism and marketization.
Degree ProgramGraduate College