Understanding Chinese Families: A Comparative Study of Taiwan and Southeast China by C. Y. Cyrus Chu (Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica)
This book provides the reader with a comprehensive introduction to the distinguishing features of Chinese families. This first full scale study seeks to understand Chinese families within the Chinese social context and draws comparisons with existing western theories and models of the family. It also explores the connection between two Chinese societies across the Taiwan Strait and investigates if the unique features of Chinese families can be applied to broaden the scope of family analysis in general. This book covers ten core areas, including co-residence, marriage, fertility, education, mobility, gender preferences, family supports, filial feedbacks, housework allocation, and the dynamics of family norm changes. The book uses theory-based empirical studies with data collected from a unique panel survey conducted in various areas across the Taiwan Strait, namely Taiwan and Southeast China. The two focal points of the study are geographically close, ethnically homogeneous, and are open to the modern market economy. A comprehensive analysis of these two areas provides new insights into the similarities and differences of Chinese families, to what extent they are distinct from Western ones, and how these similarities and differences were formed. The uniquely complex nature of intra-family interactions in Chinese families and the rapidly changing social background against which these interactions occur make this a hugely fascinating topic.