State, Family and Women’s Reproductive Agency in China

Biye Gao
This paper describes the alternative roles that patriarchal families and oppressive state policy might play in local women’s exercise of reproductive agency. Based on interviews with 26 rural women in Hunan, China, the paper explains how women, rather than experiencing their reproductive bodies as victims, act as agents. Theoretically, this paper engages with feminist discussions of coercion, victimhood, and agency. Through an examination of the different roles that marital and natal families play in women’s...
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