Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Charlotte A.B. Yates




The unprecedented economic growth and development in China over the past two decades has been as impressive as it has been daunting. Surpassing all expectations, China's GDP continues to grow at an average of 6 - 8 percent annually since 1999. However such growth has not been without consequences including: 1) increased migration; 2) the increased gap between rural and urban development; 3) and the changing place of women in the economy and society as they are among the number of those migrating. The changing political economy of China has increased the costal-interior, urban-rural as well as gendered economic inequalities while exposing the inadequacies of social and labour policies to accommodate the changing needs of Chinese citizens. As a result, the rural and migrant women who have traditionally been marginalized continue to be vulnerable to the forces of market reform and globalization. It is therefore the purpose of this thesis to show that while the changing political economy in China has afforded rural women an opportunity to enter the off-farm labour market with the hope of improved economic security, policy deficiencies continue to marginalize migrant rural women by categorically framing them as second-class citizens within the cities they move into.

McMaster University Library

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