Work and Family in Urban China

Women’s Changing Experience since Mao

  • Jiping Zuo

Part of the Politics and Development of Contemporary China book series (PDCC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Jiping Zuo
    Pages 1-20
  3. State-Socialist Era (1949—The 1980s)

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-21
    2. Jiping Zuo
      Pages 23-44
    3. Jiping Zuo
      Pages 45-65
    4. Jiping Zuo
      Pages 67-76
  4. Market-Reform Era (The 1990s—Present)

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 77-77
    2. Jiping Zuo
      Pages 97-117
    3. Jiping Zuo
      Pages 119-138
    4. Jiping Zuo
      Pages 139-153
  5. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 155-155
    2. Jiping Zuo
      Pages 157-181
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 183-215

About this book


This book examines a three-way interaction among market, state, and family in China’s recent market reform. It depicts transformations in urban women’s experiences with both paid and non-paid domestic work. The book challenges China’s free-market approach and demonstrates its negative impacts on women’s work and family experiences by revealing labor commodification processes and work-to-family conflicts as the state abandons its commitment to public welfare. Using interview data collected from 165 women of three different cohorts in urban China during the 2000-2008 period, this study uncovers the revival of traditional gendered family roles among urban women and men as one of their strategies to resist market brutality and their struggles to balance work and family demands. The book also explores urban women’s non-market definitions of marital equality, and highlights theoretical and policy implications concerning market efficiency, marital equality, and the state’s role in protecting public good.


women China urban work family gender labor market reform Mao marital inequality

Authors and affiliations

  • Jiping Zuo
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Cloud State University Saint CloudUSA

Bibliographic information

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