The Empowerment Of Chinese Women Education Essay


This chapter aims to sketch the methods and methodological analysis used to transport out this research and intends to underscore the advantages, complexnesss and restraints of my chosen processes. This ethnographical research besides seeks to detect the ways in which Chinese adult females manage to put themselves onto a way to authorization and the jobs and successes experienced along the manner in relation to their community ‘s cultural beliefs and patterns. Malinowski asserts that:

“ One of the first conditions of acceptable Ethnographic work surely is that it should cover with the entirety of all societal, cultural and psychological facets of the community, for they are so interwoven that non one can be understood without taking into consideration all the others. ” ( 1922: sixteen )

By taking this position into consideration this research, hence, intends to foreground the relationship between the State and the Chinese people and how instruction can assist to relieve some of the jobs experienced on both a local and national degree. It does non mean to do generalizations from the informations collected but instead to supply a snapshot position of where China is developing successfully with respect to female engagement in instruction and other public domains.

The research journey

My involvement in this field of research came approximately as a consequence of a new enterprise to open franchises of our school, the Girls ‘ Day School Trust ( GDST ) , in China. An chance arose for some of the staff to take portion in a instructor exchange for a twelvemonth to work in a Chinese international school and I was particularly acute to be a possible campaigner. I besides have experience of working with a twosome of misss who were adopted from a Chinese orphanhood and this, together with my career for instruction, heightened my involvement in the experiences of misss and adult females in Chinese schools.

The possible prejudice that I may convey to this survey could integrate elements such as the relationship I had with the aforesaid household. My positions about the ways in which kids are treated in the orphanhoods could take me to hold the sentiment that all misss have a similar experience in China and are all, hence, to be ‘sympathised ‘ with before holding met them. This would besides hold prevented me from being impartial when questioning the Chinese males. As the research worker, this would besides hold positioned me unfavorably in that I will already hold placed the participant in a subjugated place themselves accordingly reproducing the stereotyped position of submissive Chinese adult females. To antagonize this I have looked really carefully at the ways in which I have posed my questionnaire and interview inquiries in order to non take the participant or set my point of view across.

Bing a female research worker besides has the potency for prejudice to be in that I may favor female experiences and see them as unfair and wholly the mistake of the male population. For this ground, I besides interviewed Chinese males in order to supply a comparable profile against which adult females ‘s experiences may be gauged. My ain cultural background as a first coevals immigrant from Bangladesh may besides come into drama as it was preponderantly for the instruction and life style that my parents moved here. Chinese international pupils may hold the same aspirations and so here, excessively, there is room for deficiency of nonpartisanship which may act upon the analysis of my findings.

Lang remarks on the interesting place a research worker has as the alien saying that:

“ The disadvantages of a survey by a alien are obvious. Less obvious are its advantages. The foreign perceiver is non hampered by the psychological prejudices which may at times block or even wholly thwart a “ native ” survey. There is, of class, the danger of replacing native biass with imported 1s, for the visitant is disposed to see the society he is analyzing as a reproduction of his ain. If this danger is avoided by methodological watchfulness and self-criticism, the foreign research worker is given an unusual chance to do a productive analysis. ” ( 1946: seven )

This is rather an of import component to recognize due to the cultural differences involved. The methods used hold given me pertinent ways of look intoing in that even though I am showing the inquiries the participant is ever in control of what is being said, holding been given entree to the inquiries before meeting.

Furthermore, Henwood ( in Woodward 2000 ) asserts that ” … scientific research can ne’er be entirely impersonal, disinterested, or value-free because the procedure of cognizing ever begins in the concrete contexts and material conditions of people ‘s lives, together with the point of views, positions or apprehension of the apprehender. ” This places the research worker, who is an ‘outsider ‘ , in a place of ‘power ‘ and could impact on the manner in which the research is carried out. However, as this survey is focused around the subject of authorization it is necessary to hold every bit small influence as possible over the responses given by participants as any additions might be negated.

Concerns of methodological analysis and method

The research undertaken in this survey have used both data-gathering and data-analysis methodological analysiss in that the former involved directing out questionnaires every bit good as transporting out interviews whilst the latter involved the statistical analysis of bing informations within other people ‘s research. It is preponderantly qualitative in character instead than quantitative but there will be some mention to statistical informations from other published resources. It allows me to research complex issues and experiences and does non seek to over-simplify the informations gathered hence qualitative methods have been more appropriate in this context.

Analyzing the responses of merely a little figure of persons has resulted in a small-scale research but this allowed for research in existent life scenes and permitted a grade of flexibleness in informations aggregation in contrast to quantitative research which requires the mass aggregation of informations from as broad a sample as possible. Validating research is of class extremely of import in doing one ‘s work credible or else it risks going unscientific ( Hammersley 1990 ) . Troubles in retroflexing this signifier of research may be disputing but does non do the information either less existent or experienced. Woodward ( in Trumans et al 2000 ) discusses the features of qualitative research and how this signifier of research additions farther cogency via the fact that can be viewed as being strictly nonsubjective research whilst other observers may state that this type of research is subjective and has the potency to hold excessively much read into it.

There is besides the job of the ‘reality ‘ presented in the findings as this can be interpreted in many ways by different people hence leting room for misunderstanding or multiple readings. However, it need non follow that the research is less believable. The research worker is able to put the scene by saying the point of position from which they are detecting this survey so that the reader is presented with a lens through which they can see the research. This should be less of a job if the research worker has already positioned themselves and acknowledges their ain potency for prejudice. Once this has been declared the research worker ‘s occupation can be made clearer and more focussed.

Rationale for taking participants

The reappraisal of related literature in Chapter 2 together with the theoretical model on authorization has identified specific groups of marginalised misss and several agencies by which societal exclusion constructs these groups therefore forestalling them from accessing instruction and their ain way to empowerment. To farther aid this survey I will be analyzing related published paperss that emphasise the connexion between the State, registration figures and educational attainment and their relevancy in how State intervention can hold both positive and negative results.

This survey will besides analyze personal experiences of instruction, societal exclusion and authorization from a scope of Chinese subjects populating in the United Kingdom every bit good as in China via the usage of an on-line questionnaire. From this group I have selected two people to interview to organize my instance analyze – two females from an urban and rural country. The relationship between these two chosen participants and their positions on household life was closely examined with peculiar mention to instruction and female authorization as a agency of deriving some penetration into the chief jobs and issues originating from them.

The participants have been collated via the aid of pupils at London universities and contacts via parents and staff within the constitution I work for. Finding willing participants was one of the obstructions I faced when get downing my research so the usage of a “ gatekeeper ” was indispensable. This refers to a individual “ who can assist the research worker with the critical concern of deriving entree to the necessary fieldwork puting ” ( Denscombe 2007: 71 ) . In this survey, the gatekeeper was the Chinese pupil contact I knew through my school and who helped me to happen willing participants. Some bookmans argue that the relationship that the gatekeeper has with these contacts may hold an influence over the character of the probe. Denscombe discusses how this frequently occurs where patrons or sureties are involved. The gatekeepers involved in this survey knew of other Chinese subjects who would be able to take portion in my research and did non hold any patron or surety function to play so I am confident that the sentiments given were true. On a positive note, Denscombe discusses the place of trust which the gatekeeper is placed in by both researcher and participant so this excessively would hold a positive influence over the type of informations I collated.

Due to the troubles experienced in happening participants to help my research, I felt it necessary to utilize all the people who responded to my electronic mails together with responses from all parental contacts. This accordingly became a suited signifier of sampling and is hence an illustration of non-probability sampling. They do non all have something in common. However, this survey is non intended for the intent of generalization but instead to supply a glance into existent success narratives and how they might possibly supply suggestions for policy alteration for people in similar places.

Ethical Considerations

Permission was sought earlier and questionnaires and interviews took topographic point. Participants were besides informed that they were able to retreat from the survey at any clip. Not follow up respondents who did non wish to take part further than the on-line questionnaire. Assurance was given of this research being for my ain personal usage to guarantee that it was non mistaken for the assemblage of information for other intents.

Sensitivity was a cardinal component in this research. The Chinese community is a really private community hence my trouble in obtaining willing participants. Participants may non hold wanted to unwrap whether they were originally from an urban or rural country to me so alternatively I asked which state and town or small town they came from. The demand for privateness, namelessness and confidentiality was particularly of import as this signifier of oppugning resulted in responses which shared personal information and some unfavorable judgment of the manner things are governed in China.

Data Collection processs


This survey will do usage of a figure of literature beginnings, including mention to allow authorities publications, diaries, studies and books. Internet resources published by the World Bank, UNICEF and DFID will besides be referred to. I will be utilizing the GMR 2010 information on school registration figures and educational attainment degrees as a starting point. This might let me to estimate the kind of informations being released by China and inquiry how dependable it can be.

Online questionnaire

In the first case, an online questionnaire was used to derive as broad a sample as possible of sentiments from Chinese international pupils at London Universities every bit good as the few contacts I had in China but this was a really little sample from which it would non hold been possible to pull distinguishable decisions. Dalsimer and Nisonoff ( in Visvanathan et al 1997 ) noted some research which besides used Chinese pupils as an illustration of successful resistance to State policies and intercession. This gives proof to my chosen cohort of participants.

Prior to the questionnaire being sent out I emailed a transcript of my inquiries to the gatekeepers so that they may go through them on to the possible participants. This had advantage of guaranting a higher figure of participants due to the fact that they could be certain that there were no ‘surprise ‘ or uncomfortable inquiries. It besides meant that participants had the chance to give the inquiries some idea before shiping on the elaborate on-line version and gave me a grade of certainty about the dependability of the informations.

The nexus for the online questionnaire was sent in an electronic mail via the gatekeepers. This electronic mail besides contained within it an lineation of the type of subjects to be covered in the questionnaire. Some of my contacts in China could merely pass on via electronic mail and non by on-line study so I emailed a simpler version of the online questionnaire to them alternatively to promote maximal engagement. Brown and Dowling ( 1998 ) outline the serious restraints a research worker faces if entirely utilizing questionnaires.

Electronic mail references were requested at the terminal of the questionnaire to let for follow up where permission/email reference has been granted. The questionnaire nexus was sent out by an familiarity through the constitution for whom I work. This person is analyzing at post-graduate degree at another London university and was in a place to assist happen Chinese pupils for my research. Equally far as was possible, they tried to happen me participants from both urban and rural China but this proved highly hard.

The intent of the questionnaire was to dig deeper into personal experiences of China ‘s instruction system and the kinds of barriers ( teacher outlooks, parental influences and determinations taken, deficiency of school installations ) or signifiers of societal exclusion encountered every bit good as a agency of happening interesting people to instance survey in item. It was besides intended as a manner of garnering informations about the more general experiences of Chinese young person sing their gendered upbringings and success in going internationally nomadic. All participants were over the age of 18 with the purpose of geting a more experient position of instruction and gender stereotypes in China.

Interviews and Case Studies

After collating the online questionnaire consequences two Chinese adult females were selected to explicate my instance surveies. I really much keep the same point of view as Gerson and Horowitz who assert that:

“ To unknot the complexnesss of large-scale societal alteration, it is necessary to analyze the elaboratenesss of single lives. Individual interviews provide the chance to analyze how large-scale societal transmutations are experienced, interpreted and finally shaped by the responses of strategic societal histrions. ” ( In May 2003: 200 )

The analysis of such informations would turn out really interesting and worthwhile as it suggests ways in which societal alteration may happen. Another of import factor sing interviews and their positive properties is that they can make what the study or questionnaire can non. It allows the research worker to follow up thoughts and investigation deeper, even if this means diverting from the original set of inquiries. Responses and significances can be clarified at point of contact and so even after the interview ( Bell 2005 ) .

Interviews are besides clip devouring and may discourage participants but every bit long as a maximal clip frame was given I found that my participants were more than happy to take portion. Johnson ( in Bell: 2005 ) concurs with this point. Interviews took topographic point via telephone. Any inquiries about the interview were answered before it took topographic point so as to do the participant feel at easiness with the process. Interviews were digitally recorded and so transcribed.

My purpose was to happen out the sentiments of those who have experienced Chinese instruction first manus and the ways in which their households, the State and community ( for illustration instructors, other community members ) were involved in the determination devising procedure for the participants ‘ educational hereafter. These have been used in my instance surveies as peculiar illustrations of female authorization in China but it will non be possible for to pull any steadfast decisions from them. This would be an illustration of purposive sampling ( Blaxter et al 2006: 163 ) .

I have chosen to utilize the instance survey method of research due to the little sample of participants available to me. However, the instance survey is agrees to be best suited to little scale research ( Blaxter et Al: 2006 ) whilst besides leting me to dig profoundly into the person ‘s experiences. The instance survey attack is besides a really ‘real ‘ method supplying a clear image of person ‘s experiences instead than the bland and impersonal character of informations collected via questionnaires merely. It enables me, as the research worker, to research the complex features of Chinese societal life ( Cohen et Al in Blaxter et Al: 2006 ) , how cohesive the State, household and community are and how these influences and relationships impact on the person. By showing ‘real ‘ people who have experienced empowerment via their ability to entree good beginnings of instruction we be able to pull possible scenarios that might be replicated on a wider graduated table, possibly with the aid of NGOs. This would necessitate farther research with the cooperation of the State. However, it should besides be noted that there are disadvantages to composing up instance surveies in that they are notoriously hard to analyze.


This method seeks to formalize one ‘s ain research by comparing it to other published beginnings. I will be comparing my findings with that of Tsui and Rich ‘s ( 2002 ) to detect whether or non adult females are sing authorization and greater degrees of liberty as a consequence of life in an urban country where the one-child policy is purely enforced. Hannum ‘s assorted large-scale undertakings on misss ‘ instruction in Gansu are besides of relevancy. This means of triangulation would let me to see what adult females are truly sing in urban China in order to see how this compares with rural China. It would be enlightening to detect whether Tsui and Rich ‘s research can back up my findings and if non whether there were peculiar differences originating from the instance surveies which might explicate this.

Datas Analysis

The research has focused on the narrative component of the questionnaires and interviews as opposed to the statistical side but as my sample involved so few people it would non hold been appropriate to make this anyway. I found that the pupil cohort of participants had stronger positions about their upbringings and instruction. Statisticss have been consulted from other published beginnings in order to clear up the current place of educational registration and attainment in China.

Datas from the online questionnaires has been presented in a tabulated signifier in order to be able to cross-index and comparison responses with greater easiness. Coding has been used to abridge every bit good as to foreground any similar responses. . Interviews were transcribed from a digitally recorded version and so compared harmonizing to their grouped subjects in order to help the my analysis. These were besides coded and themed. However, this was rather ambitious as the sentiments given were rather wide.

An indispensable component of this survey is to analyze the informations given in the instance survey illustrations by comparing and contrasting the assorted sentiments given. The procedure of information analysis will be double. The instance survey findings of the urban participant will ab initio be described and discussed in item whilst being cross-referenced with the findings of the Literature Review and theoretical model. Following this there will be an analysis of the rural participant to measure whether there is a disagreement between these two countries. Differences between the genders will besides be profiled. The findings will besides mention back to the research discussed in the Literature Review. Bogdan and Biklen ( 1982: 145 ) refer to this signifier of qualitative informations analysis as “ working with informations, organizing it, interrupting it into manageable units, synthesising it, seeking for forms, detecting what is of import and what is to be learned, and make up one’s minding what you will state others. ”

Restrictions of my survey

There were restrictions of researching a state with a different linguistic communication to my ain and jobs with accessing translated policy paperss. My ain experience of seeking to entree Chinese diaries and informations have been met with this linguistic communication barrier and so relevant stuff may already be in relation to my research but these are n’t accessible by anyone except by those who can talk and read in Chinese. Using Chinese subjects besides highlighted jobs of interlingual rendition and reading. In these instances I was fortunate plenty to be able to clear up replies with the person.

Having to trust on merely a few participants besides leaves room for their ain prejudice to pervade the informations. Cross-referencing with the positions of people who took separating the online questionnaire may assist in some ways to chase away this. On a theoretical note, Batliwala ( 1993 ) emphasises the jobs of mensurating authorization as the term ’empowerment ‘ is a combative one and so mensurating it would besides be far from straightforward. Kabeer has outlined ways of mensurating authorization but in China, where cosmopolitan instruction itself is hard to estimate, authorization presented itself as an country worthy of considerable scrutiny. By transporting out this research it may be possible to light the construct of authorization being drawn out from existent life experiences.