Half the Sky
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Cherlyn Skromme Granrose
Chapter 8: Chinese Women, Half the Sky, Little Ground: Comparative Comments on Chinese Women’s Lives Under Various Government Systems
Cherlyn Skromme Granrose If we look at the reports from the previous chapters, what can we say about Chinese women at the turn of the twenty-ﬁrst century? Certainly they are employed in great numbers and work to hold up half the sky, but they do not receive equal wages for their work and they do not hold positions of equal status to men in any of the societies we have examined in this volume. Despite a variety of government eﬀorts and a variety of government systems, there is no system that has been able to overcome the Chinese ancient traditions to value sons over daughters. In this conclusion I will use the theoretical framework described in the early chapter that highlights national career identity, national career beliefs, national career behavior and national career processes, to give an initial structure to the discussion of how each government system has or has not inﬂuenced women’s work lives. In order to explain the overall ﬁndings in each location, I use both Western theoretical explanations of why gender diﬀerences might arise as well as Chinese cultural foundations of Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Legalism. In the brief review of the Western theories described in Chapter 1, gender role socialization theory posits that gender diﬀerences in employment arise because boys and girls are taught early in their lives to prefer diﬀerent things, and this leads them to select diﬀerent careers that lead to diﬀerences in pay and opportunity....
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