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Chinese contemporary family life cycle

Author: TianFeng
Tutor: LiPeiLin
School: Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Course: Sociology
Keywords: Family life cycle Social change Contemporary China
CLC: C913.11
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 497
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Using the 1982, 1990, and 2000 census data and the 1982, 1992, and 2001 fertility survey data, the doctoral dissertation elaborates the changes of family life cycle from 1980 to 2000. The dissertation is structured around the basic family life cycle model proposed by Glick, which integrates seven family life events which include first marriage, the birth of first child, the birth of last child, the leaving home of first child, the leaving home of last child, the death of spouse and the death of others.According to the Glick model, there are six stages in the course of family life cycle, which are as follows: (1) family formation, (2) family expansion, (3) the completion of family expansion, (4) family scale shrinkage, (5) the completion of family scale shrinkage, and (6) the disintegration of family. Considering the duration of family life cycle in each stage, the first stage, i.e., the family formation, only demonstrates very few changes from empirical study. However, other five stages of family life cycle all experienced significant changes. This pattern of change can be explained by the fertility behaviors and death rate, both of which can be attributed to the transformation of demographic structure. On account of the decreasing birth rate, the duration of family expanding stage has shortened significantly. As a result, the duration of the stage of the completion of family expansion has increased; which, consequently, leads to the decline of the number of children per family, and the age of females when they give birth to their first child. Further, the above factors also have affected the time points when the first child and last child left their parents’home. Regarding the stage of family disintegration, the duration for males lasts much shorter than their female counterpart, and the duration for females, based on three years’observation, usually last more than 10 years.The dissertation also constructed a hierarchical linear model to analyze the determinant factors of family size by using the county-level data from the 1990 census and the 2000 census. The main goal of the analysis is to clarify the relationship between modernizations, demographic transition and family size reduction. The dissertation concludes that, after the fertility and birth control policy became stabilized, the population policy, on the one hand, imposes uncertain impacts on the changes of family size; and on the other hand, affects the direction of change of family life cycle. Furthermore, the analysis, which is based on the county-level data of the 2000 census, also finds that the proportion of the pattern of divorce is inconsistent between male and female in China. Besides the impacts of social and economic development, the changes of family in China were also affected by social system which is exemplified by the family planning policy. Therefore, the paper concludes that the changes of family life cycle were the composite results of two determining factors. Moreover, the paper also examines the changes of family life cycle under the lens of social and economic development, and puts forward some countermeasures. Meanwhile, key issues of family life cycle which need sustained attention have been addressed.

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CLC: > Social Sciences > Sociology > Social life and social issues > Love, family, marriage > Family,family
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