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Transnationalizing intersectionality: gender, class and heteronormativity in neoliberal China

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This dissertation integrates humanities with social science methodologies within a critical framework, seeking to explore the relationship between the neoliberal restructuring and the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity in

This dissertation integrates humanities with social science methodologies within a critical framework, seeking to explore the relationship between the neoliberal restructuring and the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity in contemporary China. In this project, neoliberalism is conceptualized as an art of governance centering on the intersection of race, gender, class and sexuality to create market subjects and sustain market competition. Focusing on China's recent socio-economic and cultural upheavals, this dissertation tries to address these questions: 1. How have class inequalities, binaristic gender and heteronormative discourses been employed intersectionally by the Chinese state to facilitate China's social transformation? 2. How has this process been justified and consolidated through the intersection of gender, class, sexuality and race? 3. How do the marginalized groups respond to these material and cultural practices? Building on the discursive analysis of China's televised 60th anniversary ceremony and If You Are the One, a popular Chinese reality show, as well as the data from the interview, focus group and participant observation of more than 100 informants, it is found that the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity is central to China's neoliberal transition. A group of flexible and cheap laborers have been disarticulated and rearticulated from the population as the voluntary servitude to China's marketization and re-integration with the global economy. New controlling images, such as the bourgeois nucleus family, are created to legitimize this process. However, these disparate material and discursive practices have entailed contradictions and conflicts within the intersectional biopolitical system, and created contingent spaces of ungovernability for the marginalized groups. Building on these discursive analyses and empirical data, I reconceptualize intersectionality as a multi-dimensional-and-directional network to regulate and manage power for social organization and regulation, which grounds the biopolitical basics for the neoliberal economy. Thus I argue that we need to engage with the dynamics between the intersectional biopolitical structure and people's emerging experiences to construct a grounded utopia alternative to the neoliberal dominance for substantive social changes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Essays in growth and development

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The dissertation consists of three essays that deal with variations in economic growth and development across space and time. The essays in particular explore the importance of differences in occupational

The dissertation consists of three essays that deal with variations in economic growth and development across space and time. The essays in particular explore the importance of differences in occupational structures in various settings.

The first chapter documents that intergenerational occupational persistence is significantly higher in poor countries even after controlling for cross-country differences in occupational structures. Based on this empirical fact, I posit that high occupational persistence in poor countries is symptomatic of underlying talent misallocation. Constraints on education financing force sons to choose fathers' occupations over the occupations of their comparative advantage. A version of Roy (1951) model of occupational choice is developed to quantify the impact of occupational misallocation on aggregate productivity. I find that output per worker reduces to a third of the benchmark US economy for the country with the highest level of occupational persistence.

In the second chapter, I use occupational prestige as a proxy of social status to estimate intergenerational occupational mobility for 50 countries spanning the breadth of world's income distribution for both sons and daughters. I find that although relative mobility varies significantly across countries, the correlation between relative mobility and GDP per capita is only mildly positive for sons and is close to zero for daughters. I also consider two measures of absolute mobility: the propensity to move across quartiles and the propensity to move relative to father's occupational prestige. Similar to relative mobility, the first measure of absolute mobility is uncorrelated with GDP per capita. The second measure, however, is positively correlated with GDP per capita with correlations being significantly higher for sons compared to daughters.

The third chapter analyses to what extent the growth in productivity witnessed by India during 1983--2004 can be explained by a better allocation of workers across occupations. I first document that the propensity to work in high-skilled occupations relative to high-caste men increased manifold for high-caste women, low-caste men and low-caste women during this period. Given that innate talent in these occupations is likely to be independent across groups, the chapter argues that the occupational distribution in the 1980s represented talent misallocation in which workers from many groups faced significant barriers to practice an occupation of their comparative advantage. I find that these barriers can explain 15--21\% of the observed growth in output per worker during the period from 1983--2004.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Man [untitled]: serving people experiencing homelessness in an economic-focused society

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People going through homelessness in the contemporary U.S. struggle with a number of dehumanizing challenges. Even as some attempt to secure employment and end their homelessness, they may run into

People going through homelessness in the contemporary U.S. struggle with a number of dehumanizing challenges. Even as some attempt to secure employment and end their homelessness, they may run into difficulties because they have been Othered to such a significant level. They have effectively been left out of society because of their lack of participation in its dominant activity as prescribed by market fundamentalism, the creation and exchange of goods. The following thesis seeks to explore the experience of homelessness for those within a homeless shelter environment in an economic-focused society. It utilizes Midrash Social Research Methodology (MSRM) to focus on the voice of the person going through homelessness, the marginalized Other. It relies on the phenomenology of the 20th-Century philosopher Emmanuel Levinas in an effort to explore the meaning and knowledge to be found in conversations held with the Other. The goal of this thesis is to propose a purposeful refocusing on service through conversation. The issue of homelessness is multi-faceted and its causes are as diverse as the people who experience it. Service providers in particular must engage those being Othered, and they must provide support in ways that allow for pluralistic realities, not prescribing singular means of ending homelessness.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011