You are here: Home / People / Xiaoling Shu, 舒晓灵 / Publications / Patriarchy, Resources, and Specialization: Marital Decision-Making Power in Urban China

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.

Sociology
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

Document Actions

Sociology

1283 Social Sciences & 
Humanities 
University of California, 
Davis 
One Shields Avenue 
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 752-0782 phone
(530) 752-0783 fax

Map and Additional Contact Information

Make a Gift

Giving matters at UC Davis. For more than a century, donors have been helping the university address the issues that matter most to California, the nation and the world.  The Department of Sociology is dedicated to achieving excellence. Your gift can help.

Make a gift