A gender perspective on Chinese social relationships and behavior

Catherine So-Kum Tang, Zhiren Chua and Jiaqing O

in Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199541850
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

A gender perspective on Chinese social relationships and behavior


In recent decades, Chinese societies have undergone rapid social, economic, and political changes. Those changes have significant impacts on the way Chinese conduct their daily lives as well as the way they view themselves and the world around them. This article reviews the empirical literature on contemporary Chinese social relationships and behaviour as accessed through the gender lens. It initially presents basic approaches that explain social behaviour of men and women then examines traditional and contemporary economic and social influences on Chinese social relationships. Besides, it reviews Chinese attitudes toward men and women in traditional and non-traditional social roles within the family and in society. It later explores whether Chinese men and women behave similarly as they assume similar social roles or show divergent behavioural tendencies in light of modernization. Furthermore, this article focuses on the implications of prevailing gender attitudes and changing social roles on Chinese social relationships.

Keywords: gender perspective; Chinese social relationships; social influences; gender stereotypes; divergent behavioural tendencies

Article.  14492 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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