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Arianne M. Gaetano

Arianne M. Gaetano

Associate Professor

Director of Anthropology

Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work

Arianne M. Gaetano

Contact Me


7054 Haley Center

Office Hours

By Appointment


PhD, University of Southern California

Graduate Certificate, University of Southern California

About Me

A cultural anthropologist, Arianne Gaetano’s research focuses on contemporary Chinese society. She has spent several years studying language and conducting ethnographic fieldwork in China. Her 2015 book, Out to Work: Migration, Gender, and the Changing Lives of Rural Women in Contemporary China is about the experiences and consequences of internal migration on rural Chinese women’s lived experiences and life course trajectories, based on a decade of ethnographic fieldwork in Beijing and China’s countryside. Her recent research investigates changing meanings and patterns of courtship, intimacy, and marriage, as well as the trend of marriage postponement, in urban China. Gaetano’s new research uses a feminist perspective to critically evaluate China’s urbanization process and outcomes in regard to women, gender, and equality.

Gaetano is faculty affiliate of the Women's and Gender Studies Program and a contributor to the Asian Studies minor curriculum. Among the courses she regularly teaches are Women’s Studies; Anthropology of Gender; Culture, Marriage, and Family; Gender, Culture, and Development; Peoples and Cultures of Asia; Language and Culture; and Anthropological Theory.

Research Interests

contemporary Chinese society


  • Out to Work: Migration, Gender, and the Changing Lives of Rural Women in Contemporary China (University of Hawai’i Press 2015)
  • On the Move: Women and Rural-to-Urban Migration in Contemporary China (Columbia University Press 2004). Co-edited with Tamara Jacka.
  • A Feminist Reflection on Ethnographic Research in China: Gender, Sex, and Power in Cross-Cultural Context.” ASIANetwork Exchange 23(1) 2016: 47-65. DOI:
  • “‘Leftover Women’: Postponing Marriage and Renegotiating Womanhood in Urban China,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 4(2) 2014: 124-149.
Book Chapters
  • “Women, Work, Marriage, and the Challenges of Gendered Mobility in Urban China,” chapter 7 in Zongli Tang, ed., China’s Urbanization and Socioeconomic Impact. Springer Press, 2017: 109-124. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-4831-9_7
  • “China’s Leftover Women’: Myths and Realities,” chapter 8 in Xiaowei Zang and Lucy Xia Zhao, eds., The Handbook on Marriage and Family in China. Elgin Press, 2017: 125-141. DOI:
  • “Gender and Citizenship Inequality: The Story of Two Migrant Women,” in Martin K. Whyte, ed., One Country, Two Societies? Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China. Cambridge, MA: Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies and Harvard University Press, 2010: 265-286.