Women, Public Space, and Mutual Aid in Rural China: A Case Study in H Village

Sun L (2012)
ASIAN WOMEN 28(3): 75-102.

Journal Article | Published | English

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As rural Chinese women's social networks are restricted by traditional, patriarchal gender norms, and poor geography and infrastructure, there is little chance for these women to build new social contacts or even to maintain existing networks. Based on qualitative data collected through participant observation, focus groups, and interviews in H village, this research indicates that public spaces provide rural women a platform for the enhancement of social networks through frequent interaction with other participants. It is interesting to find that strengthened relations and established social networks formed in public spaces positively contribute to village women's daily lives, especially in the form of mutual aid when rural women need help during illness, need to borrow money for building a house, or need an extra hand to finish the harvest. Thus, through public spaces, rural women experience higher levels of mutual aid provided by the actors in their social networks, who can even replace the function of kinship to some extent by acting as a "functional alternative." For instance, during the agricultural busy period, friends from public spaces can help left-behind women with the paddy harvest, substituting for the out-migrating men who would have customarily performed this function.
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Sun L. Women, Public Space, and Mutual Aid in Rural China: A Case Study in H Village. ASIAN WOMEN. 2012;28(3):75-102.
Sun, L. (2012). Women, Public Space, and Mutual Aid in Rural China: A Case Study in H Village. ASIAN WOMEN, 28(3), 75-102.
Sun, L. (2012). Women, Public Space, and Mutual Aid in Rural China: A Case Study in H Village. ASIAN WOMEN 28, 75-102.
Sun, L., 2012. Women, Public Space, and Mutual Aid in Rural China: A Case Study in H Village. ASIAN WOMEN, 28(3), p 75-102.
L. Sun, “Women, Public Space, and Mutual Aid in Rural China: A Case Study in H Village”, ASIAN WOMEN, vol. 28, 2012, pp. 75-102.
Sun, L.: Women, Public Space, and Mutual Aid in Rural China: A Case Study in H Village. ASIAN WOMEN. 28, 75-102 (2012).
Sun, Li. “Women, Public Space, and Mutual Aid in Rural China: A Case Study in H Village”. ASIAN WOMEN 28.3 (2012): 75-102.
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