Event Title

Social Inequality Reform in Rural China: Changing Gender Norms within Policy Implementation

Faculty Mentor

Jocelyn Lieu

Major/Area of Research

LIU Global

Description

Over the past 30 years, China has undertaken efforts to relieve rural poverty in the face of mounting urbanization through means of policy change, law revision, and implementation. Several NGOs have taken it upon themselves to act as third-party liaisons, to speak directly with affected villages, determine their issues, formulate research and surveys, then advise the government on moving forward. However, these policy changes are not always implemented properly at the village level due to conflicting cultural and/or customary interests. In this case study, I aim to determine how policy changes in gender norms are implemented in a contemporary Chinese context. I utilize Landesa, a rural development nonprofit that focuses on poverty alleviation and social inequality reform, as the main case. As part of my research, I spent two months as a research assistant at Landesa’s Beijing office. While there, I collected data through participant observation by aiding the legal team in researching rural China’s land issues. I conducted structured and semi-structured interviews with staff. I also reviewed previous land surveys and studies focused on issues regarding land tenure and social inequality. Using Landesa as my primary focus, I have found that there has been resistance in local communities toward policy implementation that imply cultural reforms, so steps must be taken to create programs that will approach them. Simply put, policy changes at a state level are not being properly implemented on a local level. In addition, I have found that there was little emphasis on remedying the issues of gender inequality in policy implementation up until November 2017, wherein Landesa has changed their mission to focus on increased social equality as opposed to poverty alleviation. Following this, I look at potential resistances in policy implementation with regards to future programs that intend to neutralize those resistances from the source.

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Social Inequality Reform in Rural China: Changing Gender Norms within Policy Implementation

Over the past 30 years, China has undertaken efforts to relieve rural poverty in the face of mounting urbanization through means of policy change, law revision, and implementation. Several NGOs have taken it upon themselves to act as third-party liaisons, to speak directly with affected villages, determine their issues, formulate research and surveys, then advise the government on moving forward. However, these policy changes are not always implemented properly at the village level due to conflicting cultural and/or customary interests. In this case study, I aim to determine how policy changes in gender norms are implemented in a contemporary Chinese context. I utilize Landesa, a rural development nonprofit that focuses on poverty alleviation and social inequality reform, as the main case. As part of my research, I spent two months as a research assistant at Landesa’s Beijing office. While there, I collected data through participant observation by aiding the legal team in researching rural China’s land issues. I conducted structured and semi-structured interviews with staff. I also reviewed previous land surveys and studies focused on issues regarding land tenure and social inequality. Using Landesa as my primary focus, I have found that there has been resistance in local communities toward policy implementation that imply cultural reforms, so steps must be taken to create programs that will approach them. Simply put, policy changes at a state level are not being properly implemented on a local level. In addition, I have found that there was little emphasis on remedying the issues of gender inequality in policy implementation up until November 2017, wherein Landesa has changed their mission to focus on increased social equality as opposed to poverty alleviation. Following this, I look at potential resistances in policy implementation with regards to future programs that intend to neutralize those resistances from the source.