Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Minjoo Oh

Relational Format



This thesis is a case study of China's changing perceptions on privacy, hygiene and sanitation, as well as gender through public restrooms across the three different time periods of the 1950s, the early 2000s, and the 2010s. I analyze the situations, laws, civil codes, and perceptions that lead to different toilet styles. As toilets and defecation are taboo subjects, I use online anonymous resources like Zhihu to discover the modern perceptions of people on today's toilets as well as architecture and statistics. I in part find that I can analyze China's income disparity through toilets as the Coastal region of China has the most public restrooms and the Western region of China has the least. Then, I analyze what effect and correlation this has on their society.


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

Included in

Sociology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.