Community poverty, industrialization, and educational gender gaps in rural China

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This paper investigates community impoverishment and industrialization as explanations for educational gender gaps in rural China with analysis of a multi-province household survey and a longitudinal study of youth in one impoverished province. We consider attributes of poor communities that might shape gaps and the related roles of household and community poverty. Three major results emerge from this paper: community impoverishment, not industrialization, correlates with gaps; poverty and isolation shape gaps differently at different educational levels; and girls in relatively wealthy households fare better than boys at the transition to high school. Results suggest the importance of theorizing differences by educational stage and the need for research that conceptualizes the non-local dimensions of industrialization as potential considerations in educational decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbersot084
Pages (from-to)659-690
Number of pages32
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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