By Jieyu Liu
Although it truly is typically believed in China that socialism raised women’s prestige and paid paintings liberated them from the shackles of patriarchy, the commercial reforms of the final twenty years of the twentieth century intended girls staff have been extra at risk of wasting their jobs than males. in contrast to earlier reviews, that have inquisitive about the macro-structural good points of this procedure, this e-book makes the voices of standard ladies staff heard and applies feminist views on girls and paintings to the chinese language situation.
Drawing upon huge existence background interviews, this e-book contests the view that mobilizing girls into the office led to their liberation. in its place, the gendered redundancy they skilled was once the end result of a lifetime’s stories of gender inequalities. environment their existence tales opposed to a backdrop of significant social-political upheaval in China, the booklet means that the ladies of this ‘unlucky iteration’ have borne the brunt of sufferings as a result of sacrifices they made for the improvement of socialist China.
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Additional info for Gender and Work in Urban China: Women Workers of the Unlucky Generation
In her ethnographic research on people’s understanding of health and illness, Cornwell found that she received different versions of the same issue as her relationship to the participants changed. This led her to believe that what people say, and how they say it, differs according to the person with whom they are talking and the circumstances in which the conversation is set. She specially emphasized the distinction between public and private accounts: ‘public accounts are sets of meanings in common social currency that reproduce and legitimate the assumptions people take for granted about the nature of social reality’ (Cornwell 1984:15).
Those who had viewed me as trustworthy and reliable beforehand started talking before I had finished my statements. Thus, I found that what really mattered were the relationship between us or the relationships between the interviewee, the intermediary and myself as well as how the intermediary described my research project to the interviewee. The whole process reaffirmed the importance of personal connections in everyday life in China where so many social transactions are facilitated through introductions; but, by necessitating some modification of Western sociological practices it thereby rendered problematic some Western ethical requirements.
Hence, in that period, ‘To be revolutionary, [feminist] critics suggest, one had to act like a man; to behave as a woman risked being labelled a “backward element” ’ (Honig 2002:266). So the Cultural Revolution did more than simply elide the boundaries of gender difference; it actively required an outward exhibition of ‘masculinization’ (Brownell and Wasserstrom 2002:251).