‘The lie of the one-child policy: differing treatments of the second child in Chinese newspapers since 1979’ with Rachel Woodlee

Past Event

28 January 2016, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Oxford Institute of Population Ageing
66 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PR

This seminar is part of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing Hilary Term 2016 Seminar Series 'Family dynamics, health and ageing in contemporary China' taking place every Thursday from 2 - 3.30pm in the Seminar at 66 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PR

Speaker: Ms Rachel Woodlee, PhD student, Department of Social Policy & Intervention, University of Oxford

Summary: Despite the dominant narrative of China’s “One-Child Policy” since 1979, there were diverse exceptions across time and space that allowed some couples to have a second child. One of the most interesting examples, which has not yet been investigated in the English-language literature, is the “Experiment of Eight Million People”. This policy initiative in Gansu, Shanxi, Hebei, and Hubei provinces started in the mid-1980s and allowed all rural couples to have two children. From the results of investigations after the first two decades of the experiment, it can be persuasively argued that the “Experiment of Eight Million People” smoothed the process of population ageing and had other positive social and political effects. Yet contrary to general assumptions about the Chinese policy experimentation process, this experiment was never expanded. The main question Rachel will address is simple: why was this the case?

All welcome.