Feminization of Agricultural Production in China: Sociological Analysis

The feminization of agriculture is an important social phenomenon in today’s China: the role of women in agricultural production is changing rapidly. They increasingly become the central actors in agricultural production.

Although this phenomenon has been amply documented in recent Chinese social science literature, the same body of literature also represents some serious flaws. Hardly any attention, for instance, is paid to the feature of diversity and heterogeneity of agricultural feminization. This present research aims to develop concepts and tools that might help to go beyond the shortcomings in Chinese researches.

In summary, this research will interpret farm women’s working and living world from their own perspective by using methods as participatory observation, biography recording and interviews. Apart from a focus on the current condition of agricultural feminization and the underlying reasons, this research will study its impact on farm women themselves, their lives, their work and the intra-household relationships. Higher targets of this study are to reveal the diverse realities enclosed in agricultural feminization, the inner logic of different farming strategies, and the associated complex processes of decision-making. It will provide a new perspective and thoughts for the design, monitoring and assessment of relevant policies and give a reference value for China’s rural development in the future.