2001 volume 33(2) pages 257 – 279
doi:10.1068/a33194

Cite as:
Huang Y, 2001, "Gender, hukou, and the occupational attainment of female migrants in China (1985 - 1990)" Environment and Planning A 33(2) 257 – 279

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Gender, hukou, and the occupational attainment of female migrants in China (1985 - 1990)

Youqin Huang

Received 31 October 2000; in revised form 14 November 2000

Abstract. In this paper, I argue that the occupational attainment of female migrants in China has to be understood in its unique sociocultural and institutional contexts. In addition to the constraints of human capital, the patriarchal culture and the Household Registration (hukou) System greatly constrain the occupational attainment of female migrants. An empirical study based on a 1% sample of China's 1990 Census shows that female migrants are at a disadvantage in the labour market not only because of their gender but also because of their rural identities and outsider status, as defined by the hukou system. They can only attain jobs with lower prestige than their male counterparts, such as agricultural work and a few gender-stereotyped, family-related urban jobs.

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