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A Harmonious Family Prospers in Everything: China's One-Child Policy and Dynamics of Parent-Child Relationships in Beijing Families

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Author: Sun, Yuezhu
Advisor: Connolly, Tomoko Hamada
Committee Members: Cheng, Tun-jen; Wilcox, Emily; Schug, Joanna
Issued Date: 2012-04-27
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/16792
Description: From the author's introduction: "In 1978, Deng Xiaoping regained his leadership as the chairman of the Central Advisory Commission of the Chinese Communist Party, making him the most important leader in China. Under Deng's regime, China embarked on an unprecedented journey toward globalization. Economically, Deng and his team of reformers adopted a series of policies in an attempt to integrate China into the global economy. In the domestic economy, Deng's Economic Reform policies proceeded with privatization of public business sectors and expansion of private business sectors. In the outward or international economy, Deng employed and promoted the "open-door" policy that initiated foreign trade and investment. Deng and his team believed that "global economic integration not only would allow China to exploit her unique comparative advantage [abundant labor and a huge domestic market] in the emerging global economy, but the flow of Western technology, capital and management practices would also enable China to advance the ambitious goals of socialist modernization more rapidly" (Sharma 2009: 55). Compared with economic reform, political reform in China was relatively slow and it was handled with tremendous caution. However, Deng still managed to transfer Mao's "class-struggle" political mentality into an economy-based political guideline (Sharma 2009: 73-75). Deng introduced his theory of democracy1 during the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Party Central Committee. Deng's democracy theory targets democracy as the central goal of the Chinese Communist Party, and it emphasizes "the institution of democracy, economic democracy and the development of a legal framework (Yu 2008: 254-256)." This political reform allows more equal opportunities for free competitions and less authoritarian control over the citizens' social and political life (Sharma 2009: 73-75). In order to further strengthen China's global power and to create a generation of global elites, Deng and his team implemented the One-Child Policy in the 1980s, a state-coerced population control policy designed to reduce China's fertility rate in a relatively short period of time (Fong 2004: 2-3). Beijing, the capital of China, was one of the Chinese cities that have been greatly affected by the One-Child Policy. A majority of Beijing urban youth born after the 1980s were the sole bearers of their families."
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies

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