How do women from the one-child generation make fertility choices and negotiate work-family relationships under the two-child policy? I address this question by using 82 in-depth interviews with siblingless women from the first one-child cohort. This study unifies Gerson and Peiss’s and Kandiyoti’s conceptual frameworks on boundaries and gender strategies but adds a new dimension of self-worth. The data reveal three different fertility strategies: rejection, acceptance and procrastination, each representing different negotiations with patriarchal boundaries and assessment of self-worth. In particular, the findings highlight how the patriarchal tactics –within the state, the workplace and individual families, –are coordinated and transformed into widely available discourse on fertility duties, meritocracy and productivity, thus maintaining rigid patriarchal boundaries across private and public spheres. Rather than being subservient to multifaceted patriarchal power, women strategise to evaluate and validate their competing work-family identities through the language of moral, financial and/or status worthiness.
|Number of pages||29|
|Journal||Work, Employment and Society|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 15 Apr 2021|
- the One-Child Policy,
- family-work conflicts
- the two-child policy