The Gendered Pursuit of Individualism: What Children Mean in Contemporary Urban China

Event time: 
Friday, November 6, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Online () See map
Calendar Speaker/Performer: 
Yun Zhou - Assistant Professor of Sociology and Chinese Studies, University of Michigan
Event description: 

Reproduction links the personal and the political. Individuals make reproductive decisions, guided by the meaning they attach to children and parenthood. At the same time, through policies that promote or limit births, the state attempts to regulate individuals’ reproductive behavior. This talk centers on urban Chinese individuals’ fertility decision-making under the 2016 universal two-child policy. By examining what children mean, I highlight how a gendered pursuit of individualism underlies women’s and men’s fertility aspiration and behavior. I shed light on the question of why state policies promoting births may not resonate on the individual level.
Yun Zhou is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. Zhou’s research examines social inequality and state-market-family relations through the lens of gender, marriage, and reproduction. Her work combines statistical analysis of survey data, in-depth interviews, and agent-based computational models. With a focus on gender equity and authoritarian reproductive governance, Zhou’s current project investigates the intended and unintended consequences of China’s recent shift toward a universal two-child policy.

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