City of Working Women

City of Working Women

Life, Space, and Social Control in Early Twentieth-Century Beijing (CRM 64)

Weikun Cheng

Publication date: 2011
ISBN-13 (print): 978-1-55729-098-4
ISBN-10 (print): 1-55729-098-9
ISBN-13 (e-book): 978-1-55729-153-0

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Situating laboring-class women in the larger context of the political liberalization and the profound social and economic transformations in late-Qing and early Republican Beijing, this book presents a nuanced picture of women's potentials and possibilities, and their dangers and anxieties, in a rapidly changing city. The work is a major contribution to feminist scholarship, balancing two approaches: treating women as agents and using gender as an analytical category.

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Title information

Situating laboring-class women in the larger context of the political liberalization and the profound social and economic transformations in late Qing and early Republican Beijing, this book presents a nuanced picture of women's potentials and possibilities, and their dangers and anxieties, in a rapidly changing city. The work is a major contribution to feminist scholarship, balancing two approaches: treating women as agents and using gender as an analytical category. Its focus on lower-class women's use of urban public space opens a new dimension in the study of modern Chinese cities. The volume contains solid research based on a variety of original sources, including local archives, newspapers and magazines, memoirs, social surveys, and interviews.

Pages: 277
Language: English
Publisher: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Weikun Cheng

Professor Cheng studied under Bill Rowe and received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1995. He taught at California State University, Chico, where a unanimous vote approved his promotion to full professor a month before he died in an accident in 2007.

Education: Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Website:

City of Working Women

Preface – vii

Introduction – 1

1. Women in the City – 21
2. Livelihood – 48
3. Neighborhood – 73
4. Leisure – 98
5. Actresses – 134
6. Prostitutes – 165
7. Policing Women – 197

Conclusion – 231

Bibliography – 238
Index – 259

JOURNAL REVIEWS

"[Cheng's] empirical work is exquisitely nuanced in the multi-layered dimensions of its examination of working women’s living and working spaces....[T]his book complements our understanding of Chinese women’s history and provides new insights into life in Beijing during a period of rapid social and political change." ~Zhang Yun, University of Hong Kong, in The China Journal