Author: Nowak, Martyna Krystyna
Title: Gender analysis of the one-child policy : the impact on gender inequalities in China
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2017
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Sex discrimination -- China
Birth control -- Government policy -- China
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: 263 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: The family planning policy in China, commonly referred to as the one-child policy, has been, in its various forms, in force for nearly forty years. During this time, China has undergone tremendous changes. It has shifted from a centrally planned to a market economy and has become a global superpower, remaining, however, in official discourse, a socialist state. While the policy and the effects it has brought have been widely discussed in both academia and media, the majority of studies adopted a demographic perspective, which neglects the factors of gender, age, culture, and diversity. In order to overcome these limitations, this research proposes a dynamic approach of post-structural feminism and the life course perspective. It focuses on understanding the experience of three generations of women who lived through different socio-political times and different stages of the policy. The main objective of the study lies in challenging popularized myths regarding the one-child policy and their influence on the situation regarding gender inequality in present day China, highlighting the way in which perception of the policy is socially constructed, internalized and reproduced in everyday interactions under the interlocked system of the state, culture and free market. Taking into consideration the size and complexity of the situation in China, the research is limited to women of different age, socio-economic background and number of children or other dependants they have to care for, who currently live in the urban areas of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, cities of the Guangdong province in southwest China. The data on their experience, regarding opportunities in education and employment, family relations and the conceptof marriage, childbearing and multiple aspects of caring, was gathered during in-depth interviews. Detailed analysis of this material has shown the changeability of the policy’s influence on the lives of different women and that it has caused a huge setback for gender equality. What is more, this research allows the hidden voices of women to finally be heard.
Access: open access

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/9087