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Gender dynamics and redundancy in urban China

By Jieyu Liu


This paper focuses on employment narratives recounted in life history interviews with women workers in Nanjing, China. Drawing on feminist perspectives on gender and global economic changes, it examines the micro-processes that underpinned China's economic restructuring and, through a gender-based analysis, shows how working women lost out in this process. After an overview of the institutional context in which China's economic restructuring occurred, this paper examines women's experiences in the workplace and identifies factors that contributed to their disadvantageous position in the work unit and that increased their vulnerability in the changing labor market. The evidence of gender inequality, assumptions about women's labor capacities, and the gendered consequences of economic restructuring suggest that older, less educated women workers, mostly from the Cultural Revolution generation, are unlikely to gain any benefit from whatever advantages accrue from China's economic integration into the global economy.China, state sector reform, unemployment, gender, qualitative research, JEL Codes: P31, J64, J7,

DOI identifier: 10.1080/13545700701445322
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