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Familial Ideology And Family Policy In Hong Kong

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins by deconstructing the very notion of family policy. It discusses seven primary characteristics of the conservative familial ideology that has been dominant in Hong Kong since the 1970s. The chapter then talks about the tensions and contradictions between the various elements of that ideology, between the ideology and Hong Kong's various social policies related to the family, and between the ideology and the social and structural forces that besiege Hong Kong's families. While the first wave of 'astronaut families' has faded in recent years, a second wave is gaining ground as a result of the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and its subsequent economic downturn. The chapter concludes by arguing that only a concerted social policy that takes into account recent changes in the family structure can hope to rebuild family harmony, allowing individuals to have a greater degree of control over their lives.

Keywords: astronaut families; Chinese economic reform; familial ideology; family policy; Hong Kong



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