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From E-commerce to She-commerce: The rise of She-era?: A small-scale case study on female entrepreneurs on Taobao in China
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The study investigates female empowerment through online entrepreneurship on Taobao in Chinese society, from female entrepreneurs’ individual perspectives. Thus, the study is positioned in the dynamic e-commerce landscape of China.


This small-scale case study has been conducted, which involves 14 female online storeowners on Taobao. Online female entrepreneurs constitute the base of this study, and share their accounts of the dramatic changes in their lives after they initiated their online businesses. The entire study departs from their actual experiences and opinions, which provide multiple perspectives, so as to garner further insights into the dominant research of female empowerment within the context of e-commerce. Their actual experiences and accounts are interpreted and examined, based primarily on Sen’s capability approach, while their actual capabilities and functionings are evaluated, based on the selected aspects of their situations.


This study claims that even though the female online storeowners believe they have a higher autonomy in managing their time and household duties, and an ability to act according to their will to achieve what they desire, the female online storeowners still do not regard themselves as entrepreneurs. The enhancements in the capabilities of the female online storeowners and their achieved functionings do not necessarily go beyond the online environment. This study aims to provide a solid departure for any further investigations into women’s empowerment through e-commerce on a societal level. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 94 p.
Keyword [en]
capabilities, capability approach, e-commerce, functionings, female empowerment, female entrepreneurs, China
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-305187OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-305187DiVA: diva2:1034735
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2016-10-13 Created: 2016-10-12 Last updated: 2016-10-13Bibliographically approved

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