On Friday, February 9th, Dr. Lihong Shi will discuss her new book Choosing Daughters: Family Change in Rural China. Hope you can join us! The discussion is scheduled for 12:45 – 2:00 PM in Mather Memorial 201.
Book Summary: China’s patrilineal and patriarchal tradition has encouraged a longstanding preference for male heirs within families. Couples with China’s birth planning policy, this has led to a severe gender imbalance. But a counterpattern is emerging in rural China where a noticeable proportion of young couples have willingly accepted having a single daughter. They are doing so even as birth-planning policies are being relaxed and having a second child is now a possibility. In Choosing Daughters, Lihong Shi delves into the social, economic and cultural forces behind the complex decision-making process of these couples, the changing family dynamics and gender relations, and the intimate parent-daughter ties that have engendered this drastic transformation of reproductive choice. She reveals a new social force that fosters China’ recent fertility decline: the pursuit of a modern family and, relatedly, successful childrearing. Thus, Shi refutes the conventional understanding of a universal preference of sons in China and counters claims of continuing resistance against China’s’ population control program.