Book Launch: Leftover Women

2:30pm – 4:00pm
Thursday, April 24h
Runme Shaw 204
Chair: Trey Menefee

How has gender inequality re-emerged in China’s post-socialist era of rapid economic growth, in spite of the sweeping expansion of educational opportunities for urban women over the past decade and a half? Urban Chinese women today are arguably the most highly educated in Chinese history. The increased educational accomplishments of urban women have led some scholars to refer to trends such as the “empowerment of urban daughters” under China’s one-child policy, which suggested that urban women no longer had to compete with brothers for parental investment in education. However, expectations about women’s empowerment in China have proven to be overly optimistic. This talk examines some major obstacles to gender equality among urban residents that have emerged in recent years of market reforms, which have created stark new gender inequalities in wealth and a decrease in many urban women’s bargaining power within marriage. In spite of women’s significant educational gains, this talk argues that other developments have contributed to a fall in the socioeconomic status of urban, Chinese women relative to men.

Leta Hong-Fincher is the first American doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Tsinghua University in Beijing. She has a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University.


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