Study Guides (380,000)
CA (150,000)
UTSC (10,000)

GLOBALIZING - one child policy.docx

Global Asia Studies
Course Code
Jin Park

of 4
- nowdays, local population control policy was increasingly centered on
providing high-quality services for rural citizens to cover a variety of issues
such as childbearing and child rearing and informed options about
contraception, abortion and women’s reproductive health
- population control efforts in rural china have been an integral part of the
state’s modernization project since in the early 1970s and they have equally
widely been criticized as notoriously harsh/severe
- to facilitate its pop control effort across the vast expanse of rural areas, the
chinese state has constructed a malleable rural identity, an image of the
Other that is always seen as lacking something good and hence needing the
state’s incessant guidance, discipline and efforts at civilization
- positioning rural subjects as deficient in regards to the state’s discourse of
modernity, the Chinese state positions itself as invariably progressive,
responsible and promising in its quest to legitimize its hegemonic population
policy and thereby discursively transform peasants, especially women, into
docile instruments of its modernity project
- 1962-1970: China saw a net increase of 170 million ppl with an average total
fertility rate of 5.91 children per woman
- after the cultural Revolution, state leaders began to recognize that such rapid
population growth was incompatible with the nation’s planned economy
- On July 8 1971 > state council released Decree 51 > states tht henceforth
mankind should not let anarchism dominate human reproduction; they also
need birth planning
o Proclaimed: By 1975, the nation’s annual population growth rate
would be reduced to around 10 per thousand in cities and more than
15 per thousand in rural areas.
o So birth policies increased the legal age fro marriage, specified
minimum birth intervals, and required couples to bear no more than
two children
- Characteristic of the late Maoist era, the state claimed the slowdown of the
local population growth rate as a great success of the Maoist ideology of class
struggle movement
- 2 shape peasants’ reproductive practices, the birth control campaign was
said to demolish old ideas and foster new prevailing customs
- 1978: a burgeoning population was further diagnosed by the post-Mao state
as a national chronic illness, impeding the realization of 4 Modernizations:
o industry
o agriculture
o national defense
o science and technology
- the post-Mao state became increasingly obsessed with controlling its
population growth rate and a more rigorous birth control program became a
fundamental national policy
- 1979 Cutting the (annual) Population Growth Rate Down to Below 1% =
became nationwide slogan
o state set specific goals for annual pop growth rates
o ultimate objective was to achieve 0 pop growth rate by 2000
- 1979, Chinese state began to promote one-child policy > 1980 policy became
mandatory in both urban and rural areas
- rural ppls’ intimate reproductive practices came to further intersect
discursively with valences of state notions of backwardness
o villagers were depicted as suffused (immersed) by backward ideas
embodied in their childbearing practices
- such backwardness was most fully embodied by rural women…rural women
were implicity denounced as barbarous bc of their continuous potential of
- rural women’s fertility defined them as having an even lower level of
animalness than other mamals, whose fertility is largely governed by being in
season 1 or 2 a year
- Peasant have a low level of understanding of the pop control policy; village
women only care about their immediate desires and interests…if you don’t
exert direct control over the fertility, they would keep on producing babies
like hens lay eggs
- Huang’s statement is reminiscent of how Edward Said had discussed the
production of the Other
o By fashioning and mobilizing discourses of modernity and projecting
a series of despicable backward models to rural subjects, the Chinese
state constructed a progressive, responsible and promising image of
itself…in doing so, the state not only justified its modernity
(promoting project) but also effectively legitimized its sustained
intrusion into rural citizens’ private sphere of reproduction
- northeastern village of River Crossing:
o after implantation of 1 child policy:
local female officials regularly inquired about married
women’s monthly periods, even going so far as to verify the
women’s claims by inspecting their used menstrual pads
inspected them to make sure that women were not pregnant at
a time that was deemed outside the population plan
formulated for the village
- 1 child policy = the idealized embodiment of modernity > was entrusted with
a mission of changing peasants’ so called backward reproductive ideas and
- 1979 1-child policy = just advocated 1980 > more severe punishment
- beginning in the late 1970s in the township contained Yue, all married
women under 45 who had not been granted permission to have a child were
required to use contraception
- for 12 consecutive years 1980-1991, the township was categorized as an
advanced area for pop control
o been so successful not a single out of plan birth
- such an impressive record was primarily achieved through physically and
emotionally harsh measures; induced abortions of all out-of-plan
o sometimes out of plan births occurred bc of contraception failures
(IUDs falling out)
o contraception became mandatory
- Small Shock Brigades of the Family Planning Program > to catch big wombs
o Officials’ job: to detect unexpected pregnancies tht occurred outside
the commune government’s annual population plan in the village after
village largely through unannounced examinations and then to
require illegally pregnant women to have abortions
o 2 punish some unyielding villagers, local officials and militia removed
tiles from the roofs an action locally considered a severe symbolic
humiliation to a family
act of removing tiles from the roof of one’s house and smashing
them on the ground signifies destroying the entire house as
well as the family’s symbolic integrity and fortune
also symbolizes the state’s continued assessment of rural
subjects as backward ppl who follow old, unenlightened ways
in an outdated house
- mid 1980s > started to soften its stringent policy
- by 1984, the state accorded a larger birth quota to somem rural women:
about 10% of women whose first child was female were allowed a 2nd birth
and 2nd briths were also granted to accommodate various special cases (if
child died/disabled after accident)
- after the Post-Mao reform, the Chinese state was pushing the nation toward a
capitalist market economy > policy softened > state virtually abandoned its
mission of remodeling peasants backward patrilineal ideology.
- With this shift, the discourse of modernity undergirding the state’s pop
policy became largely material, centering on economic development
- Peasants having difficulty with the pop control policy
o Worried that could not become economically well-off quickly after
having few children
o State promised its rural citizens a ideal scenario > motto > have less
children, prosper quickly
State now claimed tht its pop control policy entailed a mission
of helping peasants develop currently deficient understanding
of economic rationality
As peasants saw their material conditions improve, the state
alleged they would become convinced that controlling
population was not only essential for the nation’s
modernization but also beneficial to individual families
- therefore the current birth policy embodied government effort to prompt
rural residents to adapt to market reforms by linking prospects for economic
prosperity to birth regulation