International Journal of Advanced Research and Development

International Journal of Advanced Research and Development


International Journal of Advanced Research and Development
International Journal of Advanced Research and Development
Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2018)

Gendered labour market in post Mao China: Political ramifications


Dr. Abhilash Babu, Dr. Abhilash G Nath

The gendered labour market and the increase in the female labour migration have evolved out of a correlation of diverse factors that includes ideological, structural, economic, institutional and cultural changes in the post-Mao China. The co-ordinated development of urban areas and associated industries, since the economic reforms of the late 1970s, has led to large-scale rural-urban migration, mostly rural female workers, who are in-cooperated largely into the electronic and toy manufacturing industries. Developments in information and transportation technologies during this period have made spatial mobility cheaper and safer to access. A large educated youth, the result of the socialist education strategies of the Mao’s period, along with the structural reforms, such as the relaxation of Hukou System (the government system of household registration) has accelerated internal migration, leading to a phenomena that is often referred to as ‘floating population,’ in contemporary China. It is often suggested that more than 300 million people migrated to urban centers in the last forty years, leading to a significant transformation of the tastes, sensibilities and aspirations of a large section of Chinese people, particularly, its young rural population. These developments actually have multiple ramifications on the state, state policies and the state-society relations. In an environment of liberalisation and privatisation, they have significantly altered the nature and processes of interest articulation, opening spaces for categories and concepts such as class, gender, social capital and ethnicity to co-exist. For the migrant female workers, spatial mobility is not just a freedom from the gaze of a patriarchal family order, but also an opportunity to encounter within themselves the vivacity and simulations of the modern urban spaces. Their association with urban spaces implants within them modern values, images, believes and aspirations. Internal migration, in this sense, has introduced modern ways of life to a large section of population. However, the unfolding concerns differ along the social strata. In the urban centres, the migrant workers have been subjected to new forms of disciplinary power in the factory floors. The rural women in China’s textile and electronic industries may worry more about the wages and the working conditions. The middle-class women, on the other hand, are largely integrated and therefore equipped to utilise the social and geographical core-periphery relations within the evolving socio-economic formation. Greater economic autonomy and political freedom consequently may attract their attention. Within the evolving socio-political dispositions, the univocal voice of the ‘national woman’ (funu) lacks the old revolutionary spirit and rigour and it plunges into a region of cacophony.
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How to cite this article:
Dr. Abhilash Babu, Dr. Abhilash G Nath. Gendered labour market in post Mao China: Political ramifications. International Journal of Advanced Research and Development, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2018, Pages 143-151
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