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Education, Gender and Upward Mobility among China’s Single-child Generation

September 18, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Vanessa Fong
Professor of Anthropology, Amherst College
555 Baldy Hall, UB North Campus
Free and open to the public

Presented by the Educational Culture, Policy and Society Program, UB Graduate School of Education
Cosponsored by the UB Confucius Institute

Based on 21 years of longitudinal surveys, interviews, and participant observation that tracked a cohort consisting of members of the first generation of Chinese citizens born under China’s one-child policy from eighth grade through their mid-thirties, this talk looks at relationships between fertility decline, education, gender, and upward mobility in China. Though most of their parents had no more than a ninth grade education, most of this cohort have college degrees. Women of this cohort were also more likely than their male former classmates to attain college degrees, in sharp contrast with Chinese women of previous generations. This talk will explain how and why these transformations took only one generation for members of this cohort in China, instead of several generations as in most developed countries worldwide.

Vanessa Fong graduated from Amherst College with a major in Anthropology in 1996, received her PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2002, and was Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education from 2003 to 2012, before returning in 2012 to Amherst College (where she is now Professor of Anthropology). She is interested in how the experiences of a partly transnational cohort of Chinese only-children and their families shed light on theories of education, gender, human development, childrearing, transnational migration, and psychological anthropology.


September 18, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


555 Baldy Hall
University at Buffalo North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260