Family values and the one-child policy: attitudes of affluent urban China daughters




Lee, Gigi Nga Chi

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This study explores the one-child policy as viewed by the present generation of single daughters who grew up in urban China, and the extent to which this policy has affected their family values. Through snowball sampling methods, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 12 unmarried only-child daughters from urban China now studying in Victoria and Vancouver. For purposes of comparison, 11 unmarried only-child daughters of the same generation were also interviewed in Hong Kong during the same time period. The findings revealed that some only-child daughters from urban China experienced low dissemination and enforcement of the one-child policy and expressed noncompliance and dissatisfaction towards the policy. A comparison between the China and Hong Kong samples indicates that the one-child policy has limited effect on the family values of the only-child daughters in urban China. By exploring the concept of governmentality, the demographic transition theory, and the concept of resistance, this thesis aims to address the dynamics between action of state power and the reaction of only-child daughters from urban China born under the one-child policy.



One-Child Policy, family values, China, women, governmentality, demographic transition theory, resistance, individualism, Confucianism, only-child, educated, urban, affluent, overseas Chinese, Canada, Hong Kong, qualitative approach