One-Child Families in Urban Dalian: A Case Study of the Consequences of Current Family Planning Practices in China
Hou, Xueyuan, 1983-
Implemented as one of the basic national polices of China since 1978, the one-child policy has brought both advantages and disadvantages to one-child families in urban China. This thesis explores the various consequences of current family planning practices in urban Dalian. It explains the ways in which the implementation of the policy has influenced urban one-child families' everyday life and how parents and single children handle the policy. Urban parents have accepted the state requirement for limited births and have adopted new child-rearing practices to raise their "only hope" in the changing socioeconomic context. Single children receive comprehensive parental attention and support and are widely considered as spoiled "little emperors/empresses". But at the same time they experience great pressure to perform with academic excellence in order to be capable to excel in the competition of the global market economy. Gender norms are in transition. Urban single daughters are empowered by the benefits brought by low fertility produced by the policy. As the first generation of single children grows up, their families are now confronted with the crucial issue of the "four-two-one" (four grandparents, two parents, one child) problem, which impacts the future of the one-child policy.