By Nancy E Riley
This ebook examines the dynamics of energy in the households of married girls who've migrated from rural parts to China's Dalian monetary quarter. enticing the query of no matter if waged paintings offers girls strength of their households, this ethnographic learn reveals that girls do certainly use their new positions and concrete prestige to barter their kin prestige. even though, girls use those new assets no longer unavoidably to advertise their very own person liberation, yet fairly to reinforce their contribution as other halves and, in particular, as moms. therefore, this new modernity presents an area for the re-inscribing of conventional roles, at the same time it could actually paintings to provide ladies new-found strength inside their households. How and why this method happens is said to the twin inequalities those girls face as rural migrants and as ladies.
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Extra resources for Gender, Work, and Family in a Chinese Economic Zone: Laboring in Paradise
Health expenditures for urban residents is some four times greater than for rural residents and the government share of these expenditures is greater in urban than rural areas (Yip 2010). Not surprisingly, the health consequences of these inequalities are becoming increasingly apparent. Immunization programs, for example, no longer have the wide coverage they once had, especially in rural areas (Riley 2004). 6 in rural areas (China Human Development Report 2007) A similar gap between rural and urban areas exists in education.
In addition, it is not insignificant that these factories employ women—and often young, single women—into these jobs. As Rosen (2002) argues, while such jobs might given women some freedom and independence—for single women from their parents or for married women from their husbands—the wage levels for this work rarely mean that women can support themselves on their own, or (in the case of separation or divorce) support themselves and their children independently of a man’s wage. 1 But when talking to factory managers, I also heard regular and repeated familiar justifications for hiring women workers—the ways that women are more obedient than men, or are able to this kind of work (close work involving “nimble fingers”) better than are men.
While the lack of community connection in urban ethnography has definite drawbacks, it also has advantages, perhaps particularly so in a society like China’s. In my position, I was in many ways less of a outside threat because I was not connected to a coherent group. While that meant that I was less easily supervised by Chinese authorities (and my sponsoring agency, the Dalian Zone Fulian [Women’s Federation] took a hands-off position on my research, even as they were very supportive in helping with logistics and in their initial visa sponsorship of my work), it also meant that I was not likely to engage with a consistent group of people on a daily basis.
Gender, Work, and Family in a Chinese Economic Zone: Laboring in Paradise by Nancy E Riley