In the process of helping women to help themselves, female activists have assumed a decisive role in negotiating social and political transformations in Chinese society. This is the first book that describes and analyzes the new phase of women's organizing in China, which started in the 1980s, and remains a vital force to the present day. The political and social changes taking place in contemporary Chinese society have, surprisingly, received scant attention. This volume enriches our understanding of the working of grassroots democracy in China by exploring women's popular organizing activities and their interaction with party-state institutions. By subjecting these activities to both empirical enquiry and theoretical scrutiny, a rigorous analysis of the exchange, dialogue, negotiation and transformation among and within three groups of political actors - popular women's groups, religious groups and the All China Women's Federation - is concisely presented to the reader. This book will be of tremendous interest to students of Chinese Studies, Political Science and Gender Studies alike.
Part I Chinese Women Organizing In/Outside Introduction Part II Contextualizing and Transcending East–West Boundaries Part III Ethnic, Diaspora and Religious Perspectives Part IV NGO Discourse and Deconstructing the Women’s Federation Part V Pockets of Space Part VI Positioning Women’s Studies Part VII Post-workshop Reflections 255 Part VIII Lexicon of Chinese Women Organizing