Privileged Daughters? Gendered Mobility among Highly Educated Chinese Female Migrants in the UK

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Privileged Daughters? Gendered Mobility among Highly Educated Chinese Female Migrants in the UK


  • Mengwei Tu Department of Sociology, East China University of Science and Technology, China
  • Kailing Xie Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, UK


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Abstract:  The one-child generation daughters born to middle-class Chinese parents enjoy the privilege of concentrated family resources and the opportunity for education overseas. We focus on the “privileged daughters” who have studied abroad and remained overseas as professionals. Using three cases of post-student female migrants who were of different ages and at different life stages, we situate their socioeconomic mobility in the context of intergenerational relationships and transnational social space. Drawing on further interview data from the same project we argue that, although the “privileged daughters” have achieved geographical mobility and upward social mobility, through education and a career in a Western country, their life choices remain heavily influenced by their parents in China. Such findings highlight the transnationally transferred gendered burden among the relatively “elite” cohort, thus revealing a more nuanced gendered interpretation of transnational socioeconomic mobility.

Keywords:  career trajectory; China; gendered mobility; one-child generation; overseas education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v8i2.2675


© Mengwei Tu, Kailing Xie. 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.