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Unsustainable Societies: Low Fertility and Familialism in East Asia’s Compressed and Semi-compressed Modernities

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the following questions: whether one can consider that East Asia is going through a second demographic transition, just like Europe; whether individualism is also the cause for the low fertility in East Asia. In order to answer these questions, it uses two strategies. The first is to embed fertility in the wider social context. By focusing on changes in marriage one can clearly see the differences between East Asia and Europe. The other strategy is the comparison method, not only between regions, i.e. between East Asia and Europe, but also within regions. The key concept of the chapter is "compressed modernity". The chapter shows how the increased complexity of the modernization process due to chronological compression in East Asian modernity has led each society to respond with its own policy directions, which have had crucial effects on materially constructing the current situation in East Asia.

Keywords: chronological compression; comparison method; compressed modernity; demographic transition; East Asian modernity; Europe; low fertility; social context



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