About the talk:

Using data from the India Human Development Survey, Chen and co-authors examine the relationship between mothers’ empowerment and adolescent children’s gender beliefs in India. Recognizing the multidimensionality of women’s empowerment, they conduct latent class analysis and identify a six-category empowerment typology for mothers, based on their education, employment, decision-making power at home, mobility outside the home, and memberships in women’s organizations. The results show diverse patterns of alignment between different markers of empowerment.  They found the mother’s empowerment typology is associated with egalitarian gender beliefs among their adolescent daughters, but not adolescent sons. Adolescent girls with mothers who are labeled as educated homemakers and proactive workers hold more egalitarian gender beliefs than other girls, whereas daughters of underprivileged workers were the least egalitarian. Their study documents the complex interplay between different dimensions of maternal empowerment and children’s gender beliefs in India.

About the speaker:

Feinian Chen is a professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University and faculty associate at the Hopkins Population Center. Before joining Johns Hopkins University, she was on the sociology faculty at the University of Maryland, College Park for twelve years. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001 and was trained in social demography at the Carolina Population Center. Her research covers a range of areas in demography, family sociology, gender, aging, and quantitative methodology. Her main research interests include intergenerational relations, women's work and family, population aging and health. Her work has been published in Annual Review of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Demography, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Sociological Methods and Research. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Hewlett Foundation. She is actively engaged in research on family transitions, gender dynamics, and their health implications in the diverse contexts of China, India, the Philippines, and the U.S.

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