"Leftover Women" or Single by Choice: Gender Role Negotiation of Single Professional Women in Contemporary China. By: Gui, Tianhan. Journal of Family Issues. Nov2020, Vol. 41 Issue 11, p1956-1978. 23p.

In today’s Chinese society, we see more and more well-educated, well-paid, and independent career women. However, as traditional femininity has been associated with subordination and sacrifice, well-educated career women are perceived as less feminine and less like proper “women” or prospective wives. Career women who remain single until their late twenties have been referred to within Chinese popular culture as “leftover women.” The current research explores the negative discourses that single career-oriented women encounter in their lives, as well as their own perceptions on work, marriage, and gender roles. Through in-depth interviews with 30 single, professional women, I examined whether these women are really “leftover” on the marriage market and how they perceive their independent, single life. The study aims to explore how these career-oriented women live within conflicting social expectations and value systems, as well as how they perceive gender roles, marriage, and career.