The Gendered Effects of Market Reforms

  • Carrie Liu Currier


The reforms implemented since 1978 have done more than just change the Chinese economy, but also alter the relationship between state and society. Marketization can be considered as much an economic reform as a social reform when considering how the removal of the iron rice bowl, the privatization of housing, and the retrenchment of subsidies fundamentally changes the socialist contract. Unemployment, increasing costs of living, and inadequate health care are all emerging problems in the reform era, and they highlight the inability of the state to meet the basic needs of its citizens. Although the state is concerned about these trends, its modernization goals appear to outweigh the social costs associated with “development.” The individualistic capitalist notion “to get rich is glorious” is replacing the socialist idea of personal sacrifice for the good of the collective, and inequality becomes a consequence of the transition from a socialist to a more market-driven economy.


Labor Market Public Sphere State Sector Market Reform Human Capital Investment 
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© Reza Hasmath and Jennifer Hsu 2009

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  • Carrie Liu Currier

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