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Kishor S.

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N Krishnan eds. Kishor, S. Mahadevan K. Merick T. Mosley W. H and L. Murthi M. Palloni A.

Endangered Daughters: Discrimination and Development in Asia

Pebley A. Preston, S. Retherford D. Robin J. Rutstein S.

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Shiva Kumar A. Sullivan, J. White H. Wolpin, K. On her mother's side, her family had been involved in founding the country's first university, at Dunedin. She accompanied her husband Jim from whom she was later divorced to London and attended Soas, where she was able to develop her interests in anthropology and in China.

She gained a second MA, this time in far eastern studies, and was awarded a PhD in the anthropology of China in Her first book, Feminism and Socialism in China , was a pioneering study of the Chinese women's movement from its emergence in the late 19th century.

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This marked the start of a prolific publishing career of nearly 30 years, during which she explored many aspects of social development, family and gender issues in China and Asia. Her Politics of Marriage in Contemporary China brought anthropological approaches to the study of political reform, showing that the cultural specifics of marriage in China were correlated with the structure and function of households.

For this reason, it suggested, the government's marriage reforms based on free choice and sexual equality would be hard to implement and would produce conflict between older people and the state. Only now that so much of the Maoist collectivist order has been swept away can Lisa's insight into the resilience of the traditional social structures of rural China be properly appreciated. Lisa's books - and her countless papers and articles - reflect her strong focus on women, children and the domestic economy but also the variety of her interests, her quick appreciation of the importance of developments in China in the s and 90s, and her refusal to be hidebound by narrow disciplinary constraints.

Although ultimately Lisa achieved the success she deserved, she felt that as a woman and an outsider she had to struggle for recognition in the early years of her career. Will this lead to diminished daughter discrimination? Having a daughter born after the early s means that most likely, if she wants to, she can marry and have a child.

Having a son born at the same time could mean that even if he wants to, he might be among that quarter of the young male surplus population that cannot find anyone to marry, joining an army of predictably more than 50 million bachelors. In South and East Asia, women continue to fare worse than men. South-East Asia, however, shows a much more favourable demographic set-up for women. But the political system seems to be of lesser importance while one main economic factor stands out—the system of old age support—which, negotiated through the prism of culture, leads to fatal daughter discrimination, as demographic variables in different societies show.

This also explains the seemingly contradictory phenomenon that when nativity decreases—seen as a sign of modernisation—simultaneously daughter discrimination increases—seen as a sign of backwardness.


Rigid population planning does not in itself have to lead to daughter discrimination, but combined with a culture where lack of realistic alternatives—except son support in old age—are potentially a lethal cocktail for young women. No number of campaigns will change the lesser value that society and parents bestow on them. As there exists a number of both richer and poorer societies where these phenomena do not occur, the crucial variable seems to be how old-age support is organised, or rather how can it be reorganised, be given the priority it deserves, particularly in view of the rapid ageing of both the Japanese and Chinese populations.

A multidisciplinary journal providing analysis of the latest political, economical, social and cultural trends in the Chinese world. Perspectives chinoises. Contents - Next document. Abstract This article looks at regional discrimination against daughters in China. Outline Demographic sources. Infant and child mortality rates in a comparative setting. Sex ratios among the youngest, years old. Full text PDF Send by e-mail. Zoom Original jpeg, 20k. Zoom Original jpeg, 16k.

  1. Endangered daughters : discrimination and development in Asia. (Book, ) [].
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  8. Zoom Original jpeg, 12k. Zoom Original jpeg, 32k. Zoom Original jpeg, 84k. Top of page. Hudson and Andrea M. Buck survey from , but both the original and its later re-construction are open to dispute. Saur Verlag, See Banister, , Chap. In Singapore under the latter part of the Japanese occupation during the Second World War there was a higher female than male infant mortality rate. In and the female infant mortality rate was and , respectively, compared to a male rate of and , but after the occupation in it again reverted to a higher male infant mortality rate.

    Hong Kong too experienced higher female mortality rates in and , but neither city did later revert to a higher female rate.

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    See Figure 1 Hence for Singapore in times of crises and insecurity the traditional son-preference—whereby sons are a guarantee for care and support in old age what also can be called fatal daughter discrimination—set in. The same explanation would go for Hong Kong in the s and the s with a large refugee population. Armonk, New York, Londres M.

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