Gender and Professional Career: The Feminization of Judges in China | UPenn Center for the Study of Contemporary China (CSCC)

Categories: Academic
by Project Pengyou on September 24th, 2015   913 views

When and Where

  • 24/09/2015
    4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

  • Annenberg School of Communications
    3620 Walnut St.
    United States
    (get map)

Gender and Professional Career: The Feminization of Judges in China | UPenn Center for the Study of Contemporary China (CSCC)

Event Details

Liu Sida, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison examines the lack of high leveled female leadership positions in Chinese courts despite the rise in mid-level leadership positions.

Gender and Professional Career: The Feminization of Judges in China

Thursday, September 24, 2015
ANNS 111, Annenberg School for Communications


Since the 1990s, the number of women in Chinese courts has been increasing steadily. More importantly, many female judges have risen to mid-level leadership positions, such as division chiefs, in the judicial bureaucracy. However, it remains difficult for women to be promoted to high-level leadership positions, such as vice-presidents or presidents.

What explains the partial career success of women in Chinese courts? In this research, we argue that two processional mechanisms are at work in shaping the structural patterns of gender inequality: (1) dual-track promotion, or vertical mobility in the judicial bureaucracy; and, (2) reverse attrition, or horizontal mobility between the judiciary and other professional careers. Taken together, the vertical and horizontal mobility patterns of judges in their career development shape women’s structural positions in Chinese courts, positions that we term “the elastic ceiling.” The gendered career patterns in the judiciary also reflect more general patterns of gender inequality in the Chinese bureaucracy.

About the speaker

Sida Liu’s main research interests fall into four areas of sociology: sociology of law, organizations and occupations, globalization, and social theory. As an interdisciplinary researcher, he has also written on topics closely related to legal theory, criminal justice, and political science. Most of Liu’s empirical work focuses on China’s contemporary legal reform and legal profession. Meanwhile, he has been studying sociological theory and general social theory, particularly theories of social space and social process along the Simmelian tradition of social geometry.


About the organizer

The Center for the Study of Contemporary China (CSCC) was established in 2012 at the University of Pennsylvania to advance Penn’s leadership in programs, research, and scholarship about the political, legal, economic, and social factors shaping China and its role in the world today.



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