Handbook on the Family and Marriage in China
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Handbook on the Family and Marriage in China

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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Chapter 12: Family planning and fertility transition in China

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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