About the Webinar:
China has witnessed rising cohabitation and robust marriage at the same time. This talk draws on survey and interview data from Chinese cities in the Pearl River Delta to address two research questions: 1) perceptions of cohabitation and the linkage between cohabitation and marriage; 2) perceptions of family labor division among cohabiting couples. For the first research question, quantitative results suggest generally tolerant perceptions of cohabitation and more divided views about the delinking of cohabitation and marriage. Qualitative analyses illustrate that women embrace flexible intimacy to make the best marriage choice, while men try to link cohabitation and marriage to prove their economic capability and sexual responsibility. For the second research question, most cohabiting couples belong to either “intended egalitarian” unions, or “discordant” unions with a typical “traditional man and egalitarian woman” combination. Under China’s materialistic turn that enhances market risks and the state-supported intimate turn that privatizes family matters, this study illustrates the persisting gender inequalities in private life, the uneven diffusion of egalitarian family ideals, and the mixed traditional expectations and individualistic desires.
About the Speaker:
Jing Song is an Associate Professor in Gender Studies Programme at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Researcher (by courtesy) at Shenzhen Research Institute, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She got her BA and MA in sociology at Peking University (China) and PhD in sociology at Brown University (USA). Prof. Song studies gender and family issues with a focus on work and property in urbanization and migration processes, especially women’s entrepreneurship, family life, and social status as shaped by state and market. She has published in China Quarterly, Urban Studies, Journal of Rural Studies, Journal of Contemporary China, Work Employment and Society, The China Review, Eurasian Geography and Economics, Housing Studies, Population Space and Place, Journal of Sociology, Journal of Chinese Sociology, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Asian Anthropology, Chinese Journal of Sociology etc. Her book Gender and Employment in Rural China was published by Routledge in 2017.