IPE 350

The Political Economy of Gender and Sexuality in China (1949 - the Present)

While scholarship on the political economy of contemporary China is usually focused on the regime's economic institutions in relation to its political processes, this course invites students to use analytical tools in political economy to examine some understudied yet important issues in the field: family, gender, and sexuality since the beginning of the People's Republic (1949) to the present. This innovative intellectual effort is fruitful not only because macro structures such as revolution, industrialization, marketization, and globalization have forcefully shaped institutions of family and marriage, reproductive policies and practices, and gender and sexuality cultures in China, but dynamics in the latter spheres have also in turn reshaped the trajectories of the macro-processes. The first half of the course focuses on understanding family institutions, women's status, gender relations, and sexualities in connection with major political and economic transitions between 1949 and the present. The second half includes readings and discussions around several thematic topics regarding family, gender, and sexuality in contemporary China in the broader context of politics, economy, and society. Materials for this course include primary source documents, works of literature and film, and scholarly books and articles.