The Peasantization of the One-child Policy in Shaanxi

Deborah Davis and Stevan Harrell

in Chinese Families in the Post-Mao Era

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1993 | ISBN: 9780520077973
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520913578 | DOI:
The Peasantization of the One-child Policy in Shaanxi

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A crucial component of China's development strategy is the control of population growth. For a regime that once prided itself on its deep understanding of the Chinese peasantry, the one-child policy was appallingly out of touch with rural reality. Virtually every policy goal—from restricting the number, thus also the sex, of children, to delaying family formation, to lengthening birth intervals—flew in the face of Chinese tradition and threatened to hobble one of the few reliable resources peasants had left after thirty years of socialism: the family. Chinese peasants follow essentially the same strategies employed by the oppressed everywhere: evasion, deception, manipulation, bribery, and all the rest. An understanding of how reproduction has evolved in the era of the one-child policy must start instead with the state, its goals, and how they are pursued.

Keywords: China; strategy; population growth; peasantry; one-child policy; reproduction

Chapter.  14014 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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