Session Abstract: Global economies, migration flows, and technological advancements have reshaped how people conduct and understand their work in Asia. This panel will look at the restructuring of work from a gendered perspective. On the one hand, Asia is home to many of the world’s manufacturing bases, entrepreneurial hotbeds, technology and creative industry centers, in which both men and women have embraced increasing chances of career development and social mobility. On the other hand, such occupation structures have been rooted in long-standing patriarchal traditions and women face new constraints and risks due to administrative bureaucracies, market-oriented reforms, global supply chains, and post-standardized employment tendencies.
The four papers in this panel focus on (1) how public sector employment provides “glass bowls” for women in South Korea that offer protection from discrimination, high status, job security, and relatively good pay, but also reinforce gendered division of labor and other limitations; (2) h) how women in China are turning to market-oriented entrepreneurial sectors for more self-determination and autonomy, but also include patriarchal constraints and new risks;(3) how female lawyers in Hong Kong contest predominant masculine definitions of success; and (4) the promises and contradictions of expanded vocational educational training and gendered expectations for young people in China. These four papers illuminate how gender is practiced in different occupations, industries, and Asian societies, and shed light on how work is structured around gender and family practices, and how people understand their work and how work affects their status and wellbeing in these women’s career landscapes.
Paper Presenter: Juyeon Park – University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Co-author: Sangha Kang-Le – Simmons University
Paper Presenter: Jing Song – The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Paper Presenter: Karen Lee – Education University of Hong Kong
Paper Presenter: Anita Koo – Hong Kong Polytechnic University