Family Dynamics in China
A Life Table Analysis
AUTHOR: Yi, Zeng
PUBLISHER: University of Wisconsin Press
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Family Dynamics in China was the first English-language demographic profile by a Chinese author of contemporary population trends and family structure in China. Author Zeng Yi constructs a viable mathematical model for extending existing family status life table models to the three-generational family that is still common in China and the rest of Asia. He uses that model to compare the dynamics of family structure in China before and after the dramatic drop in fertility that followed the 1979 implementation of stringent family size limits.
Twenty percent of the world's population lives in the People's Republic of China, yet relatively little has been known about its population structure. The 1982 census of population, the first in China to use sophisticated techniques of data collection and analysis, made it possible to examine family characteristics and their determinants: marriage, widowhood, and divorce; fertility and mortality; and rural-urban, ethnic, and regional differences. Family Dynamics in China draws on both the 1982 census and other demographic data collected during the 1980s.
The analysis Zeng Yi provides offers a framework for a mathematical model that uses as its starting point family status life table models. Using methods developed by Bongaarts and others, the book features models that simultaneously include multiple variables such as age, marital status, parity, and fecundity. Previously, these models were based on the nuclear family and assumed that adult children left their parents' homes upon marriage. Yet, the 1982 Chinese census indicated that nearly 20 percent of all Chinese families contained three or more generations. By extending existing models to accommodate the multigenerational family, Yi has made an important methodological advance that is applicable to many other Western societies.
PUBLICATION DATE: 6/15/1991
CATEGORY: Social Science