Volume 43 - Article 5 | Pages 129–142  

Introduction to the special collection on life course decisions of families in China

By Bing Xu, William A.V. Clark, Eric Fong, Li Gan

This article is part of the Special Collection 28 "Life-Course Decisions of Families in China"


Background: The economic reforms of the last thirty years have produced a dramatic improvement in the standard of living in China. However, the concurrent social transformation has also created both stresses and challenges for Chinese families. While researchers have paid considerable attention to the headline demographic statistics accompanying these economic and social transformations, the nuanced ways in which Chinese society has changed and continues to change since the reforms are less understood.

Contribution: This special collection uses the life course framework, which has emerged as an important organizing concept within demographic studies, to examine constancy and change in Chinese society since the reforms of the late 1990s. By framing life events as the result of decisions that are influenced by and sometimes are direct responses to China’s modernization, and investigating how these decisions collectively affect and reshape Chinese society, the papers in this collection provide a rich way of interpreting and understanding demographic changes in China.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Living separately but living close: Coresidence of adult children and parents in urban China
Volume 43 - Article 12

Life course and cohort effects on Chinese parents' investments in their children
Volume 43 - Article 8

Transitions to partnership and parenthood: Is China still traditional?
Volume 43 - Article 6

Loss aversion and duration of residence
Volume 35 - Article 36

Do women delay family formation in expensive housing markets?
Volume 27 - Article 1

Family migration and mobility sequences in the United States: Spatial mobility in the context of the life course
Volume 17 - Article 20

A comparative analysis of leaving home in the United States, the Netherlands and West Germany
Volume 7 - Article 17

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

The intergenerational transmission of migration capital: The role of family migration history and lived migration experiences
Volume 50 - Article 29    | Keywords: childhood, emigration, Europe, immigration, life course

Moving towards gender equality in China: The influence of migration experiences on rural migrants’ gender role attitudes
Volume 49 - Article 14    | Keywords: China, culture, gender attitudes, gender roles, rural-urban migration

Union formation and fertility amongst immigrants from Pakistan and their descendants in the United Kingdom: A multichannel sequence analysis
Volume 48 - Article 10    | Keywords: assimilation, fertility, life course, migrants, sequence analysis, union formation, United Kingdom

Solo living in the process of transitioning to adulthood in Europe: The role of socioeconomic background
Volume 48 - Article 3    | Keywords: cross-national comparison, Europe, leaving home, life course, living alone, trajectories, transition to adulthood

A dyadic approach to the study of perceived subfecundity and contraceptive use
Volume 47 - Article 1    | Keywords: childbearing desires, contraception, dyads, life course, perceived infertility