Towards a broader understanding of workplace inequality and exclusion in China: a review of discrimination based on social class, gender and physical ability

Fang Lee Cooke, Chenhui Zhao

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Research on equality, diversity and inclusion in the Chinese context is insufficient. This paper fills part of the research gap by examining the role of the institutional actors in shaping the equality and inclusion discourse, policy and reality in contemporary China. In particular, it highlights the crucial role of the state, and the emergence and maintenance of privileged social groups. This is because the construction of public discourse on inequality and inclusion is necessarily a political and social process, with social policy implications. Public discourse not only reflects the political ideals and moral standards of the nation at a given time, but also impacts the vested interests of different social groups, and their acquisition and maintenance of power. This paper reveals the entrenched, disadvantaged positions of rural migrant workers and other lower social groups, and of women and persons of disability at workplaces, and calls for policy and management intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-203
Number of pages20
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • China
  • disability
  • discrimination
  • inclusion
  • privilege
  • sexual harassment
  • social power

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