1st Edition

The Economics of Gender in China Women, Work and the Glass Ceiling

By Sisi Sung Copyright 2023
    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    China’s rapid socio-economic development has achieved remarkable equalizing conditions between men and women in the aspects of health, education and labor force participation, but the glass ceiling phenomenon has become more prominent. The book develops a cross-disciplinary paradigm, with economics at its core, to better understand gender in China and women in management in the Chinese business context. The theoretical perspective integrates the knowledge and evidence from cognate disciplinary strands, such as economics, sociology, management studies, and the Chinese literature, into one unified framework. In-depth interviews with managers in China’s largest enterprises complement the theoretical perspective with rich empirical details to examine women’s managerial experiences and career choices. The book’s argument sheds light on the power of stereotypes that specify women’s roles in the family, organization, and society. It shows that understanding the socio-psychological and organizational dynamics of stereotyping in the Chinese context, as well as how Chinese women make career decisions, recognizing and deploying these expectations, provides new perspectives on the underrepresentation of women among business leaders in China. The book offers multi-disciplinary evidence on the economics of gender in China that is highly relevant for gender studies in general, and across a number of subject areas, and it can be used in any setting as an introductory reference. The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    1. Introduction 2. Economics of Gender 3. Gender, Business Organization, and Culture 4. Women in China 5. Workplace in China 6. Gender Stereotypes in Chinese Enterprises 7. Work, Family and Women in Management 8. Guanxi and Women in Management9. Conclusion


    Sisi Sung is a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany, and a research fellow at Tsinghua University, China

    "In a remarkable synthesis of economics, sociology, anthropology, of ancient and modern Chinese history, and of Western and Chinese viewpoints, Sisi Sung has given a subtle and convincing characterization of the position of women in present-day China. The Economics of Gender in China should be read by everyone who wants to see social science at its very best, including, of course, all those with special interest in studies of gender and Chinese culture." — George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001

    "This is an important monographic account of the role of women in the contemporary economy, society, family and workplace in China from a multi-disciplinary perspective. It captures the opportunities and barriers to women’s managerial career advancement comprehensively, which contributes to the global agenda of improving gender equality." — Dr Fang Lee Cooke, Fellow, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Distinguished Professor, Monash Business School, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University

    "The book is an important work with profound significance. It analyzes the underrepresentation of women in China’s management positions and navigates a path to break the glass ceiling such that courageous and competent Chinese women can truly become "half of the sky" among leaders and decision-makers." — Bohong Liu, Professor, China Women’s University, Former Executive Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Chinese Women’s Studies