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Chinese childhood is undergoing a major transformation. Children in China explores how government policies introduced in China over the last few decades and processes of social and economic change are reshaping the lives of children and the meanings of childhood in complex, contradictory ways.
Drawing on a broad range of literature and original ethnographic research, the book explores the rise of new ideas of child-care, child-vulnerability and child-agency; the impact of the One-Child Policy; and the emergence of children as independent consumers in the new market economy. It shows that Chinese boys and increasingly girls too are enjoying a new empowerment, a development that has met with ambiguity and resistance from both caregivers and the state. The book also demonstrates how economic restructuring and the recent waves of rural/urban migration have produced starkly unequal conditions for children’s education and development both in the countryside and in the cities.
Children in China is essential reading for students and scholars seeking a deeper understanding of what it means to be a child in contemporary China, as well as for those concerned with the changing relationship between children, the state and the family in the global era.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1. Chinese Childhood in the Modern Era
Chapter 2. Raising Children in Contemporary China: Discourse and Practice
Chapter 3. Children and the Effects of the One-Child Policy
Chapter 4. Childhood and Consumption in the New Market Economy
Chapter 5. Children in the Countryside: The Effects of Economic Reforms and Parental Migration
Chapter 6. China's Migrant Children: Opportunity and Exclusion
Conclusion. Chinese Childhood in the 21st Century: Current Trends and Future Directions