Swinging open or slamming shut? The implications of China’s open-door policy for women, educational choice and work.
MetadataShow full item record
This paper explores the link between international tertiary education and evolving attitudes about women and work in China. The paper reviews literature about gender and education in China, commenting on the late-twentieth-century post-reform environment. It goes on to present illustrative primary research material from two studies carried out between 1999 and 2004 with students studying for UK Business degrees in China and the UK. The research data is presented as extracts from oral histories, where participants discuss education and attitudes about work, gender and identity. The main conclusions are that women in post-reform China have been educationally and socially disadvantaged compared to men; traditional gender attitudes about women, work and education persist in contemporary China; women are seeking opportunities in international higher education to overcome domestic prejudices; and degree-educated professional women may be developing as a new social class in contemporary Chinese society.