Gender-specific differences in professional choices in Chinese cultural contexts

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education

Year: 2022



Gender-specific differences in professional choices in Chinese cultural contexts

Yuzhen Fu, Yijing Lin



Gender socialization, as one type of socialization, start from a very early stage and continue after childhood. Among the gender socialization from adolescents to early adults, college is one of the most special periods. At the same time, college is also the time for people to choose their majors, which are more detailed and various than what they have in previous educations. Although many researches already show the relationship between gender gap and the choice of major in college, there are few researches analysis this gap from the perspective of gender socialization based on Chinese cultural context. An unstructured interview was conducted with 10 students (male = 5, female = 5) from a Chinese-American jointly established university to investigate the effect of gender differences on major choice of Chinese university students. Data collected from interviews were analyzed inductively using the six steps described in Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis methodology. Two researchers considered and coded all the interview contents separately, and met regularly to discuss emerging codes, finalize the coding scheme, and code the same sections simultaneously to compare results. Results revealed the “gendering” of major and career is an important element that influence the decision of both male and female students, and female students tend to pay more attention on this topic. For the reasons to choosing their major, male students paid more attention to their personal ability and the employment prospects of the major, while female students focus more on their personal interests, the gender bias in the workplace, and the views of parents. However, there was no significant gender difference in future major and career planning. This study provides new information the differences of gender socialization in genders, and associates it with the reason for the choice of majors. The researchers hope that faculty and administrators will be better able to support and guide students of different genders to make appropriate major choices.

keywords: Gender socialization, Major, College students, China.