How flexible gender identities give young women advantages in China’s new economy

Sung won Kim, Kari Elle Brown, Vanessa L. Fong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we examine how a cohort of urban youth born under China’s one-child policy have developed flexible gender identities through their childrearing aspirations and educational and occupational narratives, choices, and trajectories between 1999 and 2014. Drawing on surveys of 406 respondents conducted in 1999, 2012–2013, and 2013–2014, and interviews of 48 of those respondents in 2011–2014, we argue that our female research participants were more able to produce flexible gender identities than their male counterparts, and that China’s new market economy increasingly rewards youth who are flexible enough to adjust to rapidly changing circumstances, an approach more compatible with the flexible gender identities produced by young women than the more rigid gender identities produced by young men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)982-1000
Number of pages19
JournalGender and Education
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 17


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Education

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