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Title: Gender differences in the employment expectations of final year undergraduates in a university in Central China
Author: Zhu, Jian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 5988
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2011
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This study investigates the gender differences in final year undergraduates’ employment expectations, broken down by salary expectations, occupational expectations and working region expectations, in a university in Central China. It firstly examines whether or not there are gender differences in these employment expectations. It then identifies factors that have actually contributed to the gender differences in employment expectations. The study employs the conceptual framework of ‘choice and constraint’, which means that male and female final year undergraduates are able to make their own choices towards employment expectations; however, their choices are limited by a number of constraints. It adopts a mixed methods sequential explanatory design, using an on-site self-administration questionnaire survey and a follow-up semi-structured interview. The results showed that, overall, male final year undergraduates had higher salary expectations than their female counterparts. In terms of occupational expectations, both males and females preferred jobs in the ‘Education’ and ‘Party Agencies and Social Organizations’ occupations. However, male final year undergraduates were more inclined to expect to work in the ‘Party Agencies and Social Organizations’ occupation and less likely than their female peers to expect to work in the ‘Education’ occupation. With respect to working region expectations, males and females behaved differently. Males tended to put the highly developed area of East China first; whilst females seemed to prefer to stay in Central China. There was also a higher likelihood of females expecting to work near their places of origin than their male peers. Further explorations revealed that firstly, the economic roles being played in the family between the genders and the experienced or perceived sex discrimination in China’s labour market appeared to account for these gender differences in salary expectations. Secondly, gendered job preferences might be related to the gender differences in occupational expectations. That is, males were inclined to highlight pay, job reputation, promotion and even power; whereas females were more concerned with work-life balance, job stability and working environment. Finally, it seemed that parents’ expectations and the gendered orientations (males highlighting work-related issues and females underlining family ties) played a main role in shaping the gender differences in working region expectations.
Supervisor: Tett, Lyn. ; Riddell, Sheila. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: gender differences ; employment expectations ; final year undergraduates