Women, Work, and Marriage: Challenges of Gendered Social Mobility in Urban China

Jointly organized by Gender Studies Programme, Gender Research Centre & Research Centre on Migration and Mobility, CUHK

Date: 23 May 2017 (Tue)20170523 Talk Poster

Time: 3:00 - 4:30pm

Venue: Room 422, Sino Building, Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Prof. Arianne M. Gaetano, Associate Professor, Director of Women's Studies Program at Auburn University

Registration: goo.gl/och9Wm

Abstract: In this talk, I approach China’s urbanization from a feminist anthropological perspective to examine the intersections of gender with socioeconomic changes in the lives of upwardly mobile women in the city, specifically rural migrant workers and educated urban professionals. I draw upon relevant literature and ethnographic research I conducted in Beijing in the late 1990s and the 2000s among unmarried migrant women working in the service sector (Gaetano 2015), and in Beijing during summer 2008 and in Shanghai during summer 2012 and summer 2015 among unmarried, highly educated, white-collar women (Gaetano 2010 and 2014). I argue that socioeconomic changes that have accompanied China’s state-directed urbanization intersect with gender to create opportunities for, but also constraints on, social mobility and individualization through education, employment, and marriage. I explore the impact of these opportunities and constraints on women’s subjectivity, agency, and life course trajectory. The talk thus illuminates the challenges for upwardly mobile women in a patriarchal society as they strive for social mobility and personal autonomy.

Biography: Arianne M. Gaetano is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and newly elected Director of Women’s Studies Program at Auburn University, in Auburn, Alabama (US). A cultural anthropologist, Dr. Gaetano’s research focuses on contemporary Chinese society. She has spent several years studying language and conducting fieldwork in China. Her 2015 book, Out to Work: Migration, Gender, and the Changing Lives of Rural Women in Contemporary China (University of Hawai’i Press and Hong Kong University Press) depicts the consequences of internal migration on rural Chinese women’s lived experiences and life course trajectories, based on a decade of ethnographic fieldwork in Beijing and China’s countryside. Dr. Gaetano’s recent research investigates changing meanings and patterns of marriage and family in urban China, focusing on the public discourse of “leftover women” and its impact on decisions of women to marry or to postpone marriage. In her scholarship, she uses a feminist perspective to critically evaluate China’s urbanization process and outcomes for gender equality.


HeHeSheShe Out@U : HKLGFF Campus Tour

(Jointly organised by Red Ribbon Centre, Department of Health, Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and Gender Studies Programme, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Date: 12 Sept 2016 (Mon)

Time: 6:30 - 7:30 pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Esther Lee Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T.

Film Screening:


Goodbye Mr B Hello Miss B

Guest Sharing:
Dr. Cho Man Kit (Lecturer, Gender Studies Programme, CUHK)

Beatrice Wong (Transwoman)

Ronald Cheung (Sex and Gender Concern Group, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Remarks: All are welcome, no registration required.


In Conversation with Conchita, Winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest Gender, Media, and ‘Normalities’

(Jointly organised by Austrian Consulate General Hong Kong, Advantage Austria, Big Love Alliance, Gender Studies Programme, Gender Research Centre, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Date: 9 Sept 2016 (Fri)

Time: 6:30 - 7:30 pm

Venue: 1st Floor, Central Learning Centre, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong

Registration: http://tinyurl.com/glejkyg (Only registered participants can enter)

Conchita Poster


Health and Social Activism of Self-Identified Gay Men in Postsocialist China

Speaker: Prof. Tiantian ZHENG, Department of Anthropology, State University of New York, Cortland

(Jointly organised by Gender Studies Programme, Centre of China Studies, Gender Research Centre and Dept of Anthropology)

Date: 25 April 2016 (Mon)

Time: 4:00pm-5:30pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 7, Yasumoto International Academic Park (YIA, LT7), the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Please register by clicking on the poster

20160425poster tiantian final2


Improving Women's Substantive Representation: a Comparison of Theoretic Determinants and Empirical Evidence from Chinese Villages

Speaker: Tamara Jacka, Department of Political and Social Change, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

(Jointly organised by Gender Studies Programme, Pearl River Delta Social Research Centre, Centre of China Studies, Gender Research Centre and Dept of Anthropology)

Date: 10 March 2016 (Thu)

Time: 10:30am-12:30pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre B5, Ho Tim Building, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Please register by clicking on the poster



Translocal peasant family reproduction and agrarian change in China: toward an analytical framework

Speaker: Tamara Jacka, Department of Political and Social Change, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

(Jointly organised by Gender Studies Programme, Pearl River Delta Social Research Centre, Centre of China Studies, Gender Research Centre and Dept of Anthropology)

Date: 9 March 2016 (Wed)

Time: 10:30-11:45am

Venue: Room 422, Sino Building, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Please register by clicking on the poster




Consent in the Dark: Good Sex, Universities, and the State

Speaker: Prof. Carole S. Vance, Columbia University

(Jointly organised by Department of Anthropology, Visual Culture Studies, Gender Research Centre, Gender Studies Programme and MA in Intercultural Studies Programme)

Date: 14 January 2016 (Thu)

Time: 4:30 pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 4, Yasumoto International Academic Park, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

carole vance poster 3 2r



Fate and Indeterminacy in the Sensory Circuit of 21st Century Taiwan Queer Romance 台灣酷兒電影感官迴路中的命定與未知

Speaker: Dr. Mon Ya-feng 毛雅芬 (National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan)

Moderator: Prof. Tseng Hsun Hui, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies Programme


Date: 16 December 2015 (Wed)

Time: 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Venue: Room UG07, Sino Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong



Using the production and consumption of 21st century Taiwan queer romance films as a case study, this talk ethnographically explores the possibility that fate, with all its mystical implications, is a sensory experience effectively sustained by means of the moving image technology. Focusing on the shape, the expression, and the transmission of individuated sensations, I will argue that the travel of the moving image through the process of production to consumption (and perhaps back again) subjects the filmmakers and the spectators not merely to the potency of the moving image technology, which affects and can as a result qualify the capacities of the involved human bodies. But more consequentially, when engaging with the moving image, the body simultaneously opens up to the influence of a broad network of environmental factors/act-ors, including bodies and things within the body's immediate surroundings. As this network inflects/refracts the experience of the moving image via the sensory linkage among various bodies and things, it exerts a collective agency whose effect and constitution at once goes beyond the grasp of individual filmmakers or spectators and beyond the scope of any governance practice. Therein emerges a sense of fate, in the form of the lack of a sense of control, which originates from an indeterminacy (of causes and effects relevant to the moving image experience) that may paradoxically constrict individuals when defying governance.


About the Speaker:

Dr. Ya-Feng Mon received her doctorate from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her monograph Film Production and Consumption in Contemporary Taiwan: Cinema as a Sensory Circuit is to be published by Amsterdam University Press in 2016. Using 21st century Taiwan queer romance films as a case study, the book delves into the realms of sensations, feelings, impulses, and intuition in order to uncover the sensory aspects of the power dynamics between the film industry and its audience. Mon's background in film journalism has allowed her unique insights into the complex terrain of film production and consumption. Her recent research interests lie in various embodied experiences of technologies and day-to-day practices of moving-image production.

20151216seminar v1


Making the Difference on a World Scale: Social Justice, Class and Gender in Contemporary Education

Speaker: Prof. Raewyn Connell (University of Sydney)

Date: 5 December 2015 (Sat)

Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 nn

Venue: Room B5, Ho Tim Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Online Registration: http://www3.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/faculty/Applications/eap_publiclecture


We become involved in educational work, and education research, because we think education makes a difference in the world. It does. But we may become complacent, and think that the differences are always benign. We need to be aware of other outcomes, including continuing privilege, new forms of privilege, and social struggle about education. Looking closely at schools, with an ethnographic method, is an excellent way of seeing what is actually happening in education, rather than what we hope will happen. I will discuss examples of what we see in terms of gender and class, and the interaction between them. Changes in the context of education, in a global neoliberal policy environment, are likely to affect this, and may increase levels of inequality. I will reflect on possible responses to these problems, from teachers and policymakers, and how we might rethink classrooms and schools themselves.

About the Speaker:

Connell is currently Professor Emerita at University of Sydney since 2014. She was educated at the University of Melbourne and University of Sydney and has held jobs at universities in Australia, including being the founding professor of sociology at Macquarie University 1976–1991.

Connell was visiting professor of Australian studies at Harvard University 1991–1992, and professor of sociology at University of California Santa Cruz 1992–1995. She was Professor of Education, 1996-2004 and University Professor at University of Sydney, 2004-14.

Connell's sociology emphasises the historical nature of social reality and the transformative character of social practice. Her writing tries to combine empirical detail, structural analysis, critique, and relevance to practice. Much of her empirical work uses biographical (life-history) interviewing, in education, family life and workplaces. She has written or co-written twenty-one books and more than 150 research papers. Her work is translated into 16 languages.

Connell first became known for research on large-scale class dynamics ("Ruling Class, Ruling Culture", 1977 and "Class Structure in Australian History", 1980), and the ways class and gender hierarchies are re-made in the everyday life of schools ("Making the Difference", 1982). Connell is best known outside Australia for studies of the social construction of masculinity. She was one of the founders of this research field, and her book "Masculinities" (1995, 2005) is the most-cited in the field. The concept of hegemonic masculinity has been particularly influential and has attracted much debate. She has been an advisor to UNESCO and UNO initiatives relating men, boys and masculinities to gender equality and peacemaking.

In the late 1980s she developed a social theory of gender relations ("Gender and Power", 1987), which emphasised that gender is a large-scale social structure not just a matter of personal identity. In applied fields she has worked on poverty and education ("Schools and Social Justice", 1993), sexuality and AIDS prevention, and labour movement strategy ("Socialism & Labor", 1978).

Above all, Prof Connell is a scholar of conscience. For decades, she has been working on social inequality on various fronts, not only in her academic research and writing, but also in her participation in labour, gender and civic rights movements.


Tel: 3943 4443

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public-Lecture 5Dec2015


The Undue Emphasis on Women's Appearance in the Media

Speaker: Madeline Di Nonno, CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Moderator: Prof Jing Song, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies Programme

Date: 28 October, 2015

Time: 3:00-4:00pm

Venue: G05, Hui Yeung Shing Building, CUHK


Women make up only 28.3% of characters in family films, 38.9% in prime time programs, and 30.8% in children's shows. And when females do feature on screen, they are almost four times as likely as males to be shown in sexy attire. In Hong Kong, appearance comments are directed at females five times more frequently than at their male counterparts, and approximately 30% of the pages of entertainment magazines are slimming advertisements directed at women.

In this public lecture, Madeline Di Nonno will share research findings on global trends on how women are represented in the media, the social and cultural implications this has, and the actions we can take to influence positive change.

Click the links below for presentation material

Video of See Jane

Presentation Powerpoint in PDF

Research findings

2011 Public Lecture Series sponsored by Lee Hysan Foundation

Date Topic Speaker Details
Jan 26 2011 當亂倫創傷遇上精神分析──原初幻想或建構的真實? Peng, Jen-Yu Poster
Apr 27 2011 Women and the Modern Domicile in Turkey in the Mid-20th Century Meltem Ö. Gürel Poster
Jul 27 2011 與邢丹文對談:攝影、現實及生存的關係 XING Danwen Poster
Nov 2 2011 Walking with the Unmourned TRINH T. Minh-ha Poster
Oct 31 2011 The Politics of Forms and Forces
Nov 4 2011 The Boundary Event
Nov 1 2011 Workshop: "D-Story, D-Film" –
(Cinematic, Digital,Transcultural)
Screening of the film NIGHT PASSAGE followed by discussion

2010 Public Lecture Series sponsored by Lee Hysan Foundation

Date Topic Speaker Details
Jan 27 2010 I ( ) Graffiti Herng-Dar Bih, PhD

Poster Flyer
Article: 台灣街頭塗鴉文化
Article: 我愛塗鴉 (彩色版)

Apr 28 2010 The Gendered Grammar of Occidentalism:
Modes of Addressing Violence Against Women in Turkey
Meltem Ahiska, PhD Poster Flyer
Jul 28 2010 From Feminist Fieldwork to Collaborative Praxis: Lessons
from the Sangtin Movement in India
Richa Nagar, PhD Poster Flyer
Oct 25 2010 Gender-, Race- and Genre-bending in Contemporary
U.S. Theatre
Dorinne Kondo Flyer
Oct 27 2010 Seamless: A Play Reading with Commentary
Oct 26 2010 Gender, Race and the Trope of Performance in
Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Oct 29 2010 Gender, Race, and Corporeal Epistemologies

2009 Public Lecture Series sponsored by Lee Hysan Foundation

Date Topic Speaker Details
Jan 14 2009 Is there Sexism in Science? Li-ling Tsai, PhD Poster Poster
Apr 22 2009 Queer Like You: Sexual Culture and the Bounds of Normality Helen Hok-Sze Leung, PhD Poster
Jul 15 2009 Social Transformation and the Metamorphosis of the Family Hsia Lin-Ching, Ed. D. Poster
Oct 23 2009 Gender and Sexuality in the New Global Capitalism:
Are We Heading for Another Feudal Age?
Raewyn Connell, PhD,
Oct 28 2009 The Role of Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality Poster
Oct 22 2009 Researching Corporate Masculinities: A Discussion of Method Poster
Oct 29 2009 Southern Theory and the Critique of Gender Poster