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Market and Family in the Era of Reform: China's Developing Post-Mao Family Law Regime
In the last three decades, China’s leaders have opened the country to the market, radically reshaping all aspects of its society. The Chinese Communist Party has not hesitated to delve into the most intimate aspects of social life and family structure: after all, it takes a market society for a market economy to work properly. The social policies engineered by the reformist leadership are designed to step up the transition towards a market economy. According to Wilcox, however, the priorities of Deng Xiaoping and his successors have, at times, been only partly consonant with those of the market itself, though as the latter grows so contradictions are bound to disappear. After analysing the three ambits of the formation and dissolution of the family – population regulation, social welfare and socialization – he concludes that the family legislation of the People’s Republic of China reflects the ‘resisted progression’ of marketisation that has underpinned the staged and gradual integration of China into the international economy.