The Careers of New Chinese Professional Women

Planning, Pathways and WeChat

Authors

  • Yinghua Yu Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.3301

Keywords:

migration, new Chinese, one-child policy, gender, professional, career, WeChat

Abstract

This paper considers a specific cohort of new Chinese professional women born under the one-child policy in the People's Republic of China (PRC). It explores their perceptions and experiences of career in Australia through qualitative data collected from twenty-one professionals. This paper seeks to unpack the complexities of their career planning, pathways, and change, including their use of the WeChat platform to mediate their careers. I argue that new Chinese professional women's experience of career is ambivalent. They aspired to achieve some degree of 'freedom' through choosing to further their career in Australia; simultaneously, they attempted to build homeland connections and fulfil familial obligations as Dushengnv. As a result of constant negotiation, their career pathways were full of 'nonlinear' changes. WeChat works specifically as one important platform that structures the ambivalence experienced – it allows them to establish connections with family in China and the local ethnic community, but it may also limit their ability to develop networks in the Australian workplace; it offers opportunities for entrepreneurship, yet it complicates their social positions. The paper contributes to broader knowledge of new Chineseprofessional women's careers.

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Published

2022-02-08

Issue

Section

Special Section: Cultural Research from Australia