Social Media as a Disguise and an Aid: Disabled Women in the Cyber Workforce in China

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Social Media as a Disguise and an Aid: Disabled Women in the Cyber Workforce in China


  • Jing Zheng Department of Sociology, Shenzhen University, China
  • Yuxin Pei Department of Sociology & Social Work, Sun Yat-sen University, China
  • Ya Gao Department of Sociology & Social Work, Sun Yat-sen University, China


Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 1500 | Downloads: 982


Abstract:  Existing literature shows that people living with physical impairment are systematically disadvantaged in the workforce and their voices are often silenced. With a perspective of intersectionality, this article looks into how disabled women suffer from multiple forms of discrimination and how social media may emerge as a tool of empowerment for them in both the workforce and their everyday lives. Drawing on five cases of Chinese disabled women in the cyber workforce, the study finds that the booming Internet economy enables more disabled women to financially support themselves. Social media appears as a cover for these women to disguise their disability identity and get more job opportunities. It serves as an aid in many cases to allow these women to increase social participation, to project their voice, and to form alliances. The risks and challenges that disabled women often encounter in the cyber workforce are also discussed.

Keywords:  disabled women; employment; physical impairment; social media; work discrimination; work inclusion

Published:   28 April 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v8i2.2646


© Jing Zheng, Yuxin Pei, Ya Gao. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.