Women, Gender and Rural Development in China


Women, Gender and Rural Development in China

9781781000458 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Tamara Jacka and Sally Sargeson, Australian National University
Publication Date: 2012 ISBN: 978 1 78100 045 8 Extent: 288 pp
This multidisciplinary book explores gender politics in the discourses and practices of development in rural China. The contributors – scholars in political science, anthropology, gender, development and Chinese studies – examine how differently positioned women are shaping rural development, and how development is affecting women’s capabilities and gender power relations.

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China’s countryside is being transformed by rapid, far-reaching development. This wide-reaching and multidisciplinary book questions whether gender politics are changing in response to this development, and explores how gender politics inform and are reproduced or reconfigured in the languages, knowledge, processes and practices of development in rural China.

The contributors – prominent scholars in the fields of political science, sociology, gender, development and Chinese studies – argue that although gender has been elided in recent development policies, women have been singled out as a ‘vulnerable group’ requiring protection, instruction and ‘empowerment’ from paternalistic state and NGOs. Nevertheless, development has facilitated the dissemination of gender equality as an ideal and institutional norm, increased the channels through which women can advance claims for equal rights, and expanded the possibilities for agency available to them. Drawing on extensive field research in sites across China, from remote communities in Inner Mongolia and Guizhou to the fringes of expanding cities, the contributors illustrate how different women are bringing their own aspirations for development to bear in the momentous changes occurring in rural China.

This compelling and thought-provoking book will be of interest to scholars, students and researchers in the fields of public and social policy, sociology, political economy, anthropology, gender and development.
Critical Acclaim
‘. . . well-written and lively. . . this is an exciting collection, which offers both useful factual information on past and current developments in rural China and sophisticated conceptual insights. . . The book will be valuable for researchers interested in either gender or rural development in China. It will also be a welcome addition to course reading lists on contemporary China, not least because of the fine introduction by the editors.’
– Rachel A. Murphy, China Journal

‘Women, Gender and Rural Development in China is a superbly rich volume of thickly textured, reflective, and critical accounts of gendered processes of rural development. There is no doubt that it will make a significant contribution to the field of gender and rural development. This engaging edited volume will be essential reading for students and researchers of gender, development, and China.’
– Jude Howell, Gender and Development
Contributors: L. Bossen, L. Eklund, Y. Huang, C. Ingram, T. Jacka, H. Ross, S. Sargeson, S.R. Wesoky, S. Yu, L. Yang, J. Zhao

Introduction: Conceptualizing Women, Gender and Rural Development in China
Tamara Jacka and Sally Sargeson

1. Gender, Citizenship and Agency in Land Development
Sally Sargeson and Song Yu

2. Labour, Leisure, Gender and Generation: The Organization of ‘Wan’ and the Notion of ‘Gender Equality’ in Contemporary Rural China
Yuqin Huang

3. Taking the Stage: Rural Kam Women and Contemporary Kam ‘Cultural Development’
Catherine Ingram, with Wu Jialing, Wu Meifang, Wu Meixiang, Wu Pinxian and Wu Xuegui (Kam singers and song experts)

4. Reproduction and Real Property in Rural China: Three Decades of Development and Discrimination
Laurel Bossen

5. ‘Good Citizens Prefer Daughters’: Gender, Rurality and the Care for Girls Campaign
Lisa Eklund

6. Challenging the Gendered Dimensions of Schooling: The State, NGOs and Transnational Alliances
Heidi Ross

7. Developing Yunnan’s Rural and Ethnic Minority Women: A Development Practitioner’s Self-reflections
Zhao Jie

8. Engendering the Local: Globalization, Development and the ‘Empowerment’ of Chinese Rural Women
Sharon R. Wesoky

9. Myths and Realities: Gender and Participation in a Donor-aided Project in Northern China
Yang Lichao


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