Class, Gender, and Parenting Patterns in Contemporary China

Summer 2016

Yuchen Yang : Sociology and Asian Studies

Mentor: John Lie

This study asks, do class and children’s gender shapes parents’ child-rearing patterns in contemporary China? Furthermore, how does different parenting styles affect the children’s psyche, such as confidence and sense of control? By statistically analyzing quantitative data from Chinese Family Panel Studies, I believe this research can contribute to the current sociological and China studies scholarships as it revisits Lareau’s classic theory of “concerted cultivation” and “accomplishments of natural growth” and brings it beyond the US-centric sociology to China, where social inequality and class antagonism are becoming more and more visible. On the other hand, this study is concerned about the intersectionality between class and gender and therefore brings the issue of gendered parenting back into our picture. Following Berkeley’s tradition of public sociology, this study attempts to generate not only theoretical implications about how class and gender norms are reproduced, but also empirical implications about how children’s well being might be enhanced through parenting.

I really appreciate the support from the Wishek Foundation and my faculty sponsor, Professor Lie. Being selected for this award affirms my past research experience, course work, as well as my passion for sociology. This summer research opportunity not only allows me to expose myself to the sociology of childhood, a subfield that I'm extremely interested in but the department rarely offers, but also allows me to have a more vivid experience of academic life, and thus better prepares me for graduate school.