Drawing on the life stories of 266 migrants in South China, Choi and Peng examine the effect of mass rural-to-urban migration on family and gender relationships, with a specific focus on changes in men and masculinities. They show how migration has forced migrant men to renegotiate their roles as lovers, husbands, fathers, and sons. They also reveal how migrant men make masculine compromises: they strive to preserve the gender boundary and their symbolic dominance within the family by making concessions on marital power and domestic division of labor, and by redefining filial piety and fatherhood. The stories of these migrant men and their families reveal another side to China’s sweeping economic reform, modernization, and grand social transformations.
1. Introduction: Migration, Family, and Masculinity in Postsocialist China
2. Marginal Men and China’s Grand Narratives
3. Striking a Balance: Courtship, Sexuality, and Marriage
4. Conjugal Power and Diverse Strategies
5. Housework and Respectability
6. Migration, Fatherhood, and Emotionality
7. Filial Piety from Afar: Migrant Sons Renegotiating Elderly Care
8. Masculine Compromise: A Feminist Framework of Changing Masculinity
Susanne Y. P. Choi is Professor of Sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Yinni Peng is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Hong Kong Baptist University.
"Impressive and innovative.. The book deftly presents theories, empirically rich, and also rather comprehensible to readers. I would strongly recommend it to scholars who engage in gender and migration studies in China and beyond, as well as anyone who is interested in migration, family and gender issues."—New Books Asia
is extremely well written, the personal stories are compelling, and the core analytic concepts do not require readers to be familiar with sociological debates. By virtue of the scope and depth of its empirical detail, Masculine Compromise
will be an important book. Moreover, because the authors have such a fine grasp of analytic discussions beyond China, the book will have major impact even on North American–focused scholarship, which dominates this field."—Deborah Davis, Professor of Sociology, Yale University and coeditor of Wives
, Husbands, and Lovers: Marriage and Sexuality in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Urban China
"Masculine Compromise shines a much-needed spotlight on migrant men and with sensitive fieldwork and brilliant analysis illuminates the power of migration to transform what seemed like intransigent patterns of parenthood, intimacy, conjugal power, and filial obligations. This book is a must-read."—Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Paradise Transplanted: Migration and the Making of California Gardens (UC Press)