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Old Age Security and the One-child Campaign

  • Deborah Davis-Friedmann

Abstract

In each of the four post-1949 birth control campaigns, official and unofficial sources have claimed that elderly grandparents undermined government efforts to restrict family size by their persistent desire for many grandchildren.1 Evidence supporting the elderly’s preference for large families, particularly for large numbers of male descendants to carry on the family surname, is widely available. Conclusive proof that elderly parents actively block acceptance of the one-child ideal, however, is more difficult to find. In fact, Chinese government sources generally identify young people as the main sources of opposition and focus propaganda efforts on the young, involving the elderly only as a secondary audience.2 The pattern of rewards and punishments used to achieve the goals of the one-child family also confirm the importance of resistance by the young rather than the old.3 It is the salaries of the young parents that are reduced if they violate their birth-quota and it is the young couples not the grandparents who receive all bonuses and preferential treatment for compliance. Why then should there be any concern with the role of the elderly in the one-child campaign?

Keywords

Adult Child State Sector Elderly Parent Young Couple Ideal Family Size 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and References

  1. 2.
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Copyright information

© Elisabeth Croll, Delia Davin and Penny Kane 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Davis-Friedmann

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