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Wen-Shan Yang

Chapter 25 documents the changes in the family system in Taiwan. It shows that the values of Taiwanese traditional families were founded on the ‘father_son axis’, characterized by a priority on family interests, an emphasis on hierarchy and birth order, women’s subordinate status, patrilineal descent, the pursuit of family growth, and the maintenance of a big family system. While some of these characteristics have persisted, families in Taiwan have been increasingly based on a ‘husband_wife axis’, due to the expansion of compulsory education and higher education as well as the rise in women’s self-awareness and labor participation rates. Relatedly, late or no marriage, late or no pregnancy, and increased divorce rates have emerged in Taiwanese society, influencing the power and status of marriage and the family institution in Taiwan.

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Stuart Gietel-Basten

Chapter 12 focuses on the effects of family planning on fertility in China. The author first reviews the history of Chinese family planning policy from the 1970s through to the implementation of a national two-child policy in 2016. He then deconstructs the notion of an overarching national one-child policy which is the widely held impression of Chinese family planning policy, and takes a more in-depth look at regional patterns of family planning policy and fertility. Next, he presents some evidence that the one-child family may have become normalized in China. In other words, couples who are eligible to have more than child are increasingly choosing to have only one. Finally, he considers other revolutionary changes in Chinese economy and society over the past four decades, and considers how these played a critical role in shaping past and current trends of fertility.

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Weili Ding

Chapter 13 examines the effects of fertility patterns on family finance in rural China. The author surveys the interdisciplinary literature on family fertility and household finance, and discusses an emerging literature that examines the experience in rural China. She summarizes evidence from studies using nationally representative data that explore a suite of household financial decisions including consumption, investment, remittance, and gift exchange, thereby presenting empirical evidence that the influences of offspring gender structure on household financial activities at various stages of a Chinese family’s lifecycle are both enormous and varied.

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Zhanlian Feng

Chapter 17 claims that the Confucian norm of filial piety has been the cornerstone of the Chinese family. Under this cultural mandate, adult children have the moral responsibility for providing care and support, physically, financially, and emotionally, to their elderly parents. In China, the traditional family-based elder care system is being eroded by demographic shifts and socioeconomic changes in recent decades. China’s population is aging fast, and at the same time family size is shrinking and multigenerational households are waning. The availability of family caregivers is stretching thin, aggravated by increased population mobility and geographic dispersion of family members amid rapid urbanization and industrialization. Yet, China currently has a weak social safety net and is in the early stage of developing aged care services to meet the needs of an ever-increasing elderly population. This chapter discusses the continuity and changes in the age-old tradition of filial piety in a fast-changing society. The interface between the family-centered old age support system and emergent public policies to boost economic security and social services for the aged is also explored.

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Pan Wang

Chapter 6 reviews the scholarly literature on ‘Asia_West’ and ‘intra-Asia’ marriages and studies of foreign-related marriages in China. It then analyses how Chinese_foreign marriages started to ‘resurrect’ thanks to China’s economic liberation and legal reforms in the late 1970s. The early transitional period paralleled official recognition of, and public reservation against, Chinese_foreign marriages, especially marriages involving foreign nationals. The 1990s witnessed China’s changing attitudes towards cross-Strait relations, reflecting in the proliferation of cross-Strait marriages and the rising number of Chinese_foreign marriages overseas. China’s increasing globalization in the 2000s triggered the growth in the number of foreign spouses and internationalized marriages in China, giving rise to gendered discourses and binary constructions in relation to foreign spouses of Chinese in the media. Wang concludes by summarizing the changing character of foreign-related marriages in different historical periods and argues that these marriages have begun to shape and complicate the overarching marriage landscape in China in this century.

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Thomas Ley

Participation seems to be a constitutive characteristic of democratic societies and welfare regimes. Nevertheless, in its predominant language use, this concept focuses more on the articulation of interests and the formal involvement of citizens in political decision-making processes, and much less on the equal access to (political) power, social rights, common goods and the freedom to choose. While the prevalent definitions of participation are classifying types and degrees of participation into different levels (that is, the ladder of participation) and thus falling back into the less helpful differentiation of participation and non-participation, it seems to be useful to adapt a persistent subject orientated – but not individualistic – approach to participation. As such this chapter develops a broad concept of participation, which goes far beyond the normal understanding of involvement (‘being engaged’) in acknowledging the democratic dimension (‘having a say’) as well as the material dimension (‘having a stake’). Finally, these dimensions are specified for processes and outcomes of participatory research called the 3Cs: creation, confrontation, constitution.

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Haiyan Zhu

Chapter 16 discusses gendered patterns in financial support to parents in China. The role of family as a primary source of support for the elderly is important for aging societies. This is particularly true in China, where filial piety is the central value of the family system and the majority of parents rely on their adult children, especially sons, for support. However, dramatic social, economic, and demographic changes have been eroding this traditional practice, thereby weakening intergenerational support between adult children and their parents. This chapter reviews recent research on children’s financial transfer to parents, focusing on gendered patterns. Traditionally, sons are permanent family members and are expected to care for their natal parents throughout their lives, while daughters begin to contribute to their husbands’ families upon marriage. Overall, research has shown a continuation of the traditional practice, especially in rural China and Taiwan, but also significant deviations, especially in urban China. Most notably, findings from research in urban China show that daughters now provide more financial support to their parents than sons do, suggesting that daughters are playing an increasingly important role in supporting the elderly in contemporary China. The urban_rural differences in the gendered pattern of intergenerational financial transfer suggest that economic factors may play an important role in changing the traditional family practice in mainland China.

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Monica Dowling

Chapter 19 studies international adoption from China. Since China introduced its one-child policy in 1979, at least 150 000 children, mostly girls, have left China through international adoption. For ten years between 1995 and 2005, China was one of the major countries from which children were adopted overseas. This chapter examines how particular aspects of globalization _ that is, worldwide communication, the influence of international organizations, and economic inequalities in China _ have continued to influence international adoption from China. It examines the factors that have contributed to the outcomes for Chinese adoptees and their adoptive parents, and for international non-government organizations and their staff based in China. She also explores cultural and historical attitudes toward population growth, child abandonment, and adoption, and reflects on how China’s social, economic, and welfare policies have affected policies and practices concerned with ‘the best interests of the child’ in relation to international adoption and those left behind in state care in China.

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Edited by Xiaowei Zang and Lucy X. Zhao

This Handbook advances research on the family and marriage in China by providing readers with a multidisciplinary and multifaceted coverage of major issues in one single volume. It addresses the major conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues of marriage and family in China and offers critical reflections on both the history and likely progression of the field.
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Giuseppe Acconcia, Roland Atzmüller, Evelyne Baillergeau, Sergio Belda-Miquel, Thierry Berthet, Benoît Beuret, Alejandra Boni Aristizábal, Jean-Michel Bonvin, Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti, Stephan Dahmen, Jan Willem Duyvendak, Valerie Egdell, Anna Kathrine Anna Frørup, Céline Goffette, Helen Graham, Paolo Roberto Graziano, Bettina Haidinger, Niels Rosendal Jensen, Christian Christrup Kjeldsen, Alban Knecht, Thomas Ley, Aurora López-Fogués, Hans-Uwe Otto, Agnese Peruzzi, Robert Raeside, Griet Roets, Rudi Roose, Véronique Simon, Alberta M.C. Spreafico, Hilde van Keer, Caroline Vandekinderen and Josiane Vero

In this chapter, the key messages and policy implications arising from the chapters making up this volume are drawn together. The research demonstrates the need to increase the development of young people’s agency and voice, and to put it at the centre of policy design, implementation and evaluation. Currently young people often feel undermined by not being given the opportunity to be listened to by policy-makers. This volume highlights the value provided by the Capability Approach in offering a framework for addressing youth inequalities that goes beyond current European and national level approaches. The Capability Approach takes a more encompassing view of what is entailed by youth empowerment and participation in society. By applying the Capability Approach, this volume reveals the necessity to develop a more holistic youth policy in which the individual context, as well as the processes and outcomes of youth programmes, are taken into consideration without neglecting heterogeneous values and life aspirations. The goal is to allow genuine individual agency and promote participation and voice instead of imposing predefined goals, and working together among young people and among different levels of administration.