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OCAS 3000 - Population, Gender and Society in China

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2020-2021

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

China is a constant source of concern for the international community, mainly because of its growing influence in the global economy. However, it is now at a crossroads: a shrinking labor force, a rapidly ageing population, and a significant gender imbalance are major challenges that should be addressed to ensure economic viability and social stability in the coming decades. This transition period is causing major upheavals for gender relations, families and society as a whole. The objective of the seminar is to discuss various social issues in relation to demographic changes, with a strong focus on women's experience, gender roles and gender-based discriminations.

Learning Outcomes:
1. A good knowledge and understanding of the main concepts used in gender studies
2. A good understanding of global demographic issues (and relevant demographic indicators) and the influence of China in this regard
3. A good knowledge of China's society (focused on social, demographic, and related economic challenges)
4. Measurement of gender-based discriminations
5. Familiarization with quantitative analysis methods

Professional Skills:
1. Ability to analyze tables and charts in relation to demographic and gender issues
2. Ability to collect relevant academic information to write synthesis reports in relation to global demographic and gender issues
3. Ability to integrate demographic and gender issues within the framework of other major global issues


ATTANE, Isabelle (Directrice de recherche)

Pedagogical format

Pedagogical and feedback format: .

After the grade is given, by email or face-to-face at the end of a session.

Course validation

Course requirements: active oral participation, read the required readings. Grading and assessment:

Three distinct contributions are expected:
1) (remote/in class) An oral presentation (by group of two or three students) of an academic article related to demographic and/or gender issues in China (a list of articles will be proposed by the instructor). The presentation includes a brief description of the methodology and approach used in the article, a presentation of the context, research objectives and results, and a brief critical assessment [1/5 of the final grade] (time-frame: weekly, starting 3 weeks after the semester starts).

2) (individual remote work) A five-pages report consisting in a critical analysis, in the form of a dissertation, of a press article dealing with a social, demographic, or gender-related issue in China and/or another Asian country. “Pros and cons” arguments assessing the soundness of the press article must be built using at least two academic articles and/or book chapters dealing with the same topic [2.5/5 of the final grade] (time-frame: end of the semester).

3) (in class, individual) A multiple-choice questionnaire including 40 to 50 general questions about specific issues studied during the course [1.5/5 of the final grade] (time-frame: end of the semester).


Reading and Preparation for Class: 3 hours a week / 36 hours a semester

Required reading

  • 1. Attané I. & Gu Baochang (2014) “China's Demography in a Changing Society: Old Problems and New Challenges”. In Attané I. & Gu B., Analysing China's population: Social Change in a New Demographic Era, Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 1-11
  • 2. T. Angeloff and M. Lieber, “Equality, Did You Say? Chinese feminism after 30 years of reforms” China Perspectives, n°4, 2012.
  • 3. Eklund L. & Attané I. (2017), “Marriage squeeze and mate selection”. In Zang Xiaowei Handbook on Marriage and the Family in China, Cheltenham, UK & Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 156-174.

Additional required reading

4. Bulte, E., Tu, Q., & List, J. (2015). “Battle of the sexes: How sex ratios affect female bargaining power”. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 64(1), 143–161.