New Gates scholar to research working mothers

  • September 28, 2010
New Gates scholar to research working mothers

New Gates PhD scholar Yen-Chun Chen is conducting research on working mothers.

New Gates scholar Yen-Chun Chen is to research how the increase in women who work is affecting their role as mothers.

Yen-Chun is studying for a PhD in sociology and has long been interested in family issues. For her masters, she has studied the impact of family support on married migrants in Taiwan. She became interested in married migrants, and particularly the discrimination they face, during her undergraduate degree when she worked as a volunteer for the Pearl S. Buck Foundation.

She says many men in low-income jobs in Taiwan have difficulty finding a marriage partner since tradition dictates that men have a higher educational and occupational level than their wives and more and more women are working and rising up the social ladder. Due to the lack of Taiwanese women who will marry them and their duty to pass on their family name, these men often turn to the marriage market and buy a wife from a poorer country, such as Vietnam or Cambodia.

For her PhD she will compare working mothers in the UK and Taiwan. “I want to look at the different expectations of women and how this impacts on their roles as mothers, how they negotiate their different roles, how they cope with the dilemma of being a working mum,” she says.

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