Understanding Single Womanhood in China: An Intersectional Perspective
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Over the past few decades, the marriage rate has been decreasing across the globe and the populations of the singles have been rapidly increasing. Despite such significant changes, marriage norms remain strong throughout the world. Drawing on the intersectionality theory, this chapter presents an interlocking matrix of oppressions for single womanhood. Based on extensive literature review on single womanhood, the authors argue that multiple stigmas, including singlism, sexism, ageism, classism, as well as racism/ethnicity-based biases, all contribute to the negative experiences of single women across different cultural contexts. The oppressions occur on multiple levels, as results of the interaction across micro-, meso-, and macro-levels. The proposed matrix is later elaborated in the context of Chinese society to demonstrate its applicability. The chapter ends with a discussion of the potential to advance knowledge about gender inequity and to provide an informed framework for improving single womanhood.
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