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Xiaoling Shu, Yifei Zhu, and Zhanxin Zhang (2013)

Patriarchy, Resources, and Specialization: Marital Decision-Making Power in Urban China

Journal of Family Issues, 34(7):885--917.

This article examines influences of patriarchal ideas and practices, relative resources, and housework specialization on three dimensions of marital decision-making power in urban China. The authors analyze mundane, child-related, and economic decisions using data from a 2000 national sample of 8,300 married urban individuals from 178 cities. Gender ideology and gendered patterns of inequality remain the most salient determinants of marital decision-making power. Specialization in housework bestows power on wives in mundane and child-related decisions and extends the existing pattern of gendered specialization in housework and breadwinning into wives' prevalence in mundane decisions and husbands' dominance in economic decisions. There is little support for resource theory: wives fail to use their relative income to bargain for more power. Housework, not relative income, boosts Chinese wives' marital decision-making power in mundane and child-related decisions, indicating the absence of a ``transitional equalitarian'' value system and a collective rather than an individualistic orientation in marital power process.

Zuo, Jiping; Bian, Yanjie. Beyond Resources and Patriarchy: Marital Construction of Family Decision-Making Power in Post-Mao Urban China. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 36. 4 (2005): 601-622. University of Calgary/Dept of Sociology

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