A Probe into the Work-Life Balance of Chinese Policewomen

Gonna lay it on a bit thick today with something nice and serious. This is an abstract of an academic paper from the Gender Studies Network authored by Zhou Ying.

Because this is an advanced academic abstract, you can really see how, in the upper levels of written Chinese, a ton of words that we find essential in English can be dropped from a sentence while still preserving the essence of the meaning. We tend to extend sentences with explanation, but here, I feel, is a fabulous example of how efficient Chinese can be. Because so many words have been dropped, I’ve added a whole lot of bracketed explanation and English fill-in words in the translation to better illuminate the implied meaning.

I’m not quite sure I know what a “proper role in domestic life is”, I’m fairly certain that not all policewomen feel intensely conflicted, but I do like the idea of implementing some social policies to better support working women.


警察职业曾是女性的“禁区”。随着社会的发展, 目前女警数量不断扩大, 警务工作范围不断扩展, 他们已成为维护社会治安打击犯罪的特殊力量。女警发展面临工作与生活平衡的困境。一方面, 存在着女警人数所占比例小、岗位、晋升和参与决策的机会有限、职业安全遭受威胁等限制职业发展的问题。另一方面, 繁忙的警务工作使其无法扮演好家庭角色, 内心冲突激烈。促进女警工作与生活平衡需要社会方面与个体方面的双重努力, 特别是社会政策的支持。

Show English translation »
Police work was once an occupational area forbidden to women. In the wake of [current] social development, the continuous increase in the number of policewomen and the continuous expansion in the scope of police work, policewomen have become an extraordinary force in upholding law and order and cracking down on crime. [At the same time,] this development has left policewomen faced with difficulties in [maintaining] work-life balance. On the one hand, [there are work-related issues such as] their small number in proportion [to male policemen], a limited number of posts they may accept, few opportunities for promotion or participation in decision-making, threats to their occupational safety, and so on. On the other hand, [there are personal issues such as the fact that] the frenetic pace of police work makes it almost impossible to play a proper role in domestic life, creating an intense inner conflict in [policewomen’s] heart. In order to improve policewomen’s work-life balance, we must strive [to address] both the social and individual aspects [of this problem], particularly in the form of support through social policies.

5 replies on “A Probe into the Work-Life Balance of Chinese Policewomen”

In Chinese academic literature and newspaper reporting I often hear what I think is a sort of “dim echo” of problems faced by American society 30 years ago. For example, this sociologist obviously “borrows” analytic terminology familiar to American academics. But the difference may be a more limited scope of influence among Chinese academics. Perhaps cognizant of the ever-vigilant government watchdogs, recommendations and even observations are often couched in maddeningly generic language. To me it is obvious that Chinese political leadership has said–“Ok, women want to work. Give ’em the grunt jobs in police, no policy input, no high pay, and show them what it is like…!” Then, sociologists, armed with American (Western) terminology, ever so gently want to probe the effects of all of this, escaping into generalities right at the crucial time.

I some day long to be able to express this kind of precision in my written Chinese…Your posts are helping me develop some of that!

让我尝试表达一个上述的翻译 (只一个句话!): “意识到以政府监管机构的不断警惕,许多学者经常施加对自己的想法的限制。” Hope that is nearly correct!

What really is the diffrense than police women and men? Well police men are stronger, but we could use women’s brains (entelegance) and if there is a police women with a police men it could make a really good team, and women could have super agility. Any how I love your stories and facts. THX AGAIN => 🙂 ;6 ^_^

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