Shifting Traditions of Childrearing in China Narratives from Three Generations of Women
Unique in its intergenerational approach to understanding motherhood in China, this book sets out to study Chinese mothers’ experiences of childrearing, emphasising that gender is not immutable and that motherhood is not isolated from other social domains.
The author adopts an historical and sociological design with a case study approach to investigate three living generations of women from 12 families of varied social-economic backgrounds in China. By comparing three aspects of these mothers’ lives – namely the growing-up experiences, mothering experiences and intergenerational transmission between mothers and daughters – this research provides an invaluable opportunity to ‘observe’ how changing structural elements shaped mothers’ varied subjectivities similarly or differently. It also addresses the continuities of the women’s experiences, highlighting the gendered and devalued roles in childcare that existed across three generations, reflecting the complex dynamic relationship between women’s agency and China’s social structures.
This is an essential read for researchers, students, professionals and practitioners in the fields of sociology of families, childhood and education, gender studies, motherhood/parenthood studies, narrative studies, social policy and development studies.