one child the story of chinas most radical experiment

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One Child

Author : Mei Fong
ISBN : 9781780748467
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 32. 69 MB
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Since 1979, China's one-child policy has exercised unprecedented control over the reproductive habits of more than a billion people. Now the Chinese economy is on the verge of becoming the largest in the world. But will it get there or is this colossal experiment in social engineering about to bring everything crumbling down? Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Mei Fong goes to China in search of the real cost of this divisive policy for the families affected by it. The one-child policy leaves behind a dystopian legacy of second children ignored by the state, only children caring for ageing parents and grandparents, and villages filled with ineligible bachelors as a result of a massive gender imbalance. Just as it lifted millions out of poverty at the end of the twentieth century, it has now condemned generations to economic and societal turmoil. Drawing on a decade spent documenting the repercussions of the one-child policy on every sector of Chinese society, Fong makes a bleak prognosis, the effects of which will be felt across the globe.

One Child

Author : Mei Fong
ISBN : 9780544276604
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 53. 40 MB
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An intimate investigation of the world’s largest experiment in social engineering, revealing how its effects will shape China for decades to come, and what that means for the rest of the world When Communist Party leaders adopted the one-child policy in 1980, they hoped curbing birth-rates would help lift China’s poorest and increase the country’s global stature. But at what cost? Now, as China closes the book on the policy after more than three decades, it faces a population grown too old and too male, with a vastly diminished supply of young workers. Mei Fong has spent years documenting the policy’s repercussions on every sector of Chinese society. In One Child, she explores its true human impact, traveling across China to meet the people who live with its consequences. Their stories reveal a dystopian reality: unauthorized second children ignored by the state, only-children supporting aging parents and grandparents on their own, villages teeming with ineligible bachelors, and an ungoverned adoption market stretching across the globe. Fong tackles questions that have major implications for China’s future: whether its “Little Emperor” cohort will make for an entitled or risk-averse generation; how China will manage to support itself when one in every four people is over sixty-five years old; and above all, how much the one-child policy may end up hindering China’s growth. Weaving in Fong’s reflections on striving to become a mother herself, One Child offers a nuanced and candid report from the extremes of family planning.

One Child

Author : Mei Fong
ISBN : 054427539X
Genre : History
File Size : 81. 82 MB
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An intimate investigation of the world's largest experiment in social engineering, revealing how China became what it is today, where it's inevitably headed, and the implications for the rest of the world China adopted its one-child policy in 1979, exercising unprecedented control over the reproductive habits of more than one billion people. China now seems poised to overtake the United States as the world's largest economy, but this law may be its undoing. The Soviet Union collapsed because of its wrongheaded attempt to engineer the market. What will come of China's attempt to engineer its population? Mei Fong reveals the true human impact of government-mandated family planning, traveling across China to meet the people who live with its consequences. Their stories reveal a dystopian reality: unauthorized second children ignored by the state, only children supporting aging parents and grandparents on their own, villages teeming with ineligible bachelors. This demographic imbalance, Fong argues, will lead to further economic and societal turmoil in the years to come. Fong has spent over a decade documenting the repercussions of the one-child policy on every sector of Chinese society. She offers a nuanced and candid account of government planning gone awry.

China S Hidden Children

Author : Kay Ann Johnson
ISBN : 9780226352657
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 26. 30 MB
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In the thirty-five years since China instituted its One-Child Policy, 120,000 children—mostly girls—have left China through international adoption, including 85,000 to the United States. It’s generally assumed that this diaspora is the result of China’s approach to population control, but there is also the underlying belief that the majority of adoptees are daughters because the One-Child Policy often collides with the traditional preference for a son. While there is some truth to this, it does not tell the full story—a story with deep personal resonance to Kay Ann Johnson, a China scholar and mother to an adopted Chinese daughter. Johnson spent years talking with the Chinese parents driven to relinquish their daughters during the brutal birth-planning campaigns of the 1990s and early 2000s, and, with China’s Hidden Children, she paints a startlingly different picture. The decision to give up a daughter, she shows, is not a facile one, but one almost always fraught with grief and dictated by fear. Were it not for the constant threat of punishment for breaching the country’s stringent birth-planning policies, most Chinese parents would have raised their daughters despite the cultural preference for sons. With clear understanding and compassion for the families, Johnson describes their desperate efforts to conceal the birth of second or third daughters from the authorities. As the Chinese government cracked down on those caught concealing an out-of-plan child, strategies for surrendering children changed—from arranging adoptions or sending them to live with rural family to secret placement at carefully chosen doorsteps and, finally, abandonment in public places. In the twenty-first century, China’s so-called abandoned children have increasingly become “stolen” children, as declining fertility rates have left the dwindling number of children available for adoption more vulnerable to child trafficking. In addition, government seizures of locally—but illegally—adopted children and children hidden within their birth families mean that even legal adopters have unknowingly adopted children taken from parents and sent to orphanages. The image of the “unwanted daughter” remains commonplace in Western conceptions of China. With China’s Hidden Children, Johnson reveals the complex web of love, secrecy, and pain woven in the coerced decision to give one’s child up for adoption and the profound negative impact China’s birth-planning campaigns have on Chinese families.

Only Hope

Author : Vanessa L. Fong
ISBN : 080475330X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 27. 83 MB
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This is the first book to examine the high-pressure lives of teenagers born under China's one-child family policy. Based on a survey of 2,273 students and 27 months of participant-observation in Chinese homes and schools, it explores the social, economic, and psychological consequences of the one-child policy.

Just One Child

Author : Susan Greenhalgh
ISBN : 0520253388
Genre : History
File Size : 28. 81 MB
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"This is a seminal contribution to policy making as a subject of anthropological study. But to say only this would obscure the often gripping and intricate story of Chinese expert politics, where rocket scientists seized the initiative in defining historic demographic policy. Only a master ethnographer like Greenhalgh could capture it all."--George Marcus, author of Ethnography through Thick and Thin "China's 'one child' policy is often dismissed in the West as the misguided work of an alien civilization with fundamentally flawed conceptions of human rights. Greenhalgh shows how, on the contrary, it was scientific aspirations and a thirst for high-tech rationality, imported from the military to the civilian sphere, that co-produced this particular excess of planning in the post-Mao era. This is not just a devastating critique of Chinese population policy, but a thought-provoking look at the dark side of the politics of science."--Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University "'One child.' With those two words, China launched one of the largest political, biological, and social upheavals of modern times. In a remarkably researched and thoughtful book, Susan Greenhalgh approaches this decades-long struggle armed with political science, anthropology, and science studies. The result is a book to be reckoned with in all these disciplines."--Peter L. Galison, Harvard University "This is a superb work of scholarship, fundamentally altering our knowledge of one of the most important policies ever made in the People's Republic of China, and the ways we go about knowing China. First, it is by far the most detailed study of the origins of one of the most controversial, significant, wide-ranging, and as the study makes clear, least understood decisions of the post-Mao China political system. China's one-child family policy is rarely treated with detachment, and its origins have been obscured. This book is likely to be the definitive study on their origins. Second, the mode of analysis-an ethnography of elite decision-making combined with the science studies literature and elements of theories popular in anthropology and critical studies yields insights political scientists were not likely to have come up when employing the tools of their discipline. The book thus becomes an important case for the use of such modes of analysis in and of themselves, and opens new possibilities in how policy studies in China might be done. Third, beyond the specifics of how the one-child policy came into being and the mode of analysis, the book provides broader contributions on the nature of policy-making, agenda setting, uses of rhetoric, and how elements of the political culture affect the political system in China. The overall book is exemplary in all respects."--David Bachman, University of Washington

Message From An Unknown Chinese Mother

Author : Xinran
ISBN : 1451610955
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 20. 52 MB
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Following her internationally bestselling book The Good Women of China, Xinran has written one of the most powerful accounts of the lives of Chinese women. Her searing stories of mothers who have been driven to abandon their daughters or give them up for adoption is a masterful and significant work of literary reportage and oral history. Xinran has gained entrance to the most pained, secret chambers in the hearts of Chinese mothers—students, successful businesswomen, midwives, peasants—who have given up their daughters. Whether as a consequence of the single-child policy, destructive age-old traditions, or hideous economic necessity, these women had to give up their daughters for adoption; others even had to watch as their baby daughters were taken away at birth and drowned. Xinran beautifully portrays the “extra-birth guerrillas” who travel the roads and the railways, evading the system, trying to hold on to more than one baby; naïve young girl students who have made life-wrecking mistakes; the “pebble mother” on the banks of the Yangzte River still looking into the depths for her stolen daughter; peasant women rejected by their families because they can’t produce a male heir; and Little Snow, the orphaned baby fostered by Xinran but confiscated by the state. For parents of adopted Chinese children and for the children themselves, this is an indispensable, powerful, and intensely moving book. Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother is powered by love and by heartbreak and will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page.

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