Privileged daughters? Gendered mobility among highly educated chinese female migrants in the UK

Mengwei Tu*, Kailing Xie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


The one-child generation daughters born to middle-class Chinese parents enjoy the privilege of concentrated family resources and the opportunity for education overseas. We focus on the “privileged daughters” who have studied abroad and remained overseas as professionals. Using three cases of post-student female migrants who were of different ages and at different life stages, we situate their socioeconomic mobility in the context of intergenerational relationships and transnational social space. Drawing on further interview data from the same project we argue that, although the “privileged daughters” have achieved geographical mobility and upward social mobility, through education and a career in a Western country, their life choices remain heavily influenced by their parents in China. Such findings highlight the transnationally transferred gendered burden among the relatively “elite” cohort, thus revealing a more nuanced gendered interpretation of transnational socioeconomic mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Inclusion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Robert Walker and Jane Millar for their comments on an earlier draft, as well as the support from the three anonymous reviewers. This article benefits from the National Social Science Fund of China (Grant 18CSH011).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors; licensee Cogitatio (Lisbon, Portugal).


  • Career trajectory
  • China
  • Gendered mobility
  • One-child generation
  • Overseas education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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