Aging in China: Implications to Social Policy of a Changing Economic State

Aging in China: Implications to Social Policy of a Changing Economic State


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China, which is fast on its way to becoming the most powerful economic force in the world, has four unique characteristics that distinguish it from other countries in Asia: (1) The proportion of aging population is growing faster than that of Japan (the country previously recognized as having the fastest rate) and much faster than nations in western Europe. (2) An early arrival of an aging population before modernization has fully taken place, with social policy implications. It is certain that China will face a severely aged population before it has sufficient time and resources to establish an adequate social security and service system for older people. (3) There will be fluctuations in the total dependency ratio. The Chinese government estimates are that the country will reach a higher dependent burden earlier in the twenty-first century than was previously forecast. (4) The government’s fertility policy (single child per family) and its implementation has a strong influence on the aging process. Fewer children are being born, but with more elderly people a conflict arises between the objectives to limit population increase and yet maintain a balanced age structure (Peng and Guo 2001). The intersection of these fourfold factors means that the increased aging population is giving rise to serious concerns among Chinese social policy makers. There is a chronic lack of good resource materials that attempt to make sense of social policy in its relationship to examining the problems and possibilities of human aging grounded in an analysis of economic of social policy in China and impact on rural and urban spaces. Such analysis of China will be covered by conceptual, theoretical, and empirical approaches. The book will also discuss substantive topics of housing, community care, family care, pensions, and mental health. The book brings together a truly world class array of researchers to provide discussions of critical implications of aging social policy and the economic impact in China.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service

Reviewer: Peter A Liu, CM, C Psych(Adler School of Professional Psychology)
Description: The book highlights numerous aspects of aging in China, bringing together a range of articles that focus on social/cultural issues, political factors, and the international impact of recent economic changes in China. The 15 articles are well researched and some are illustrated with graphs/charts. Most chapters have a brief summary at the beginning that helps readers in navigating through the main issues. The book is at a suitable level for a university undergraduate course and perhaps also as supplemental reading for selected graduate courses.
Purpose: The purpose is to discuss the impact of changes in aging in China. Much research is identified about the way aging has changed in modern China. This is a relevant issue due to the wide range of changes and challenges that current practices have prompted in China. The problems of the aging population are highlighted with a comparison of the experience in China with other countries.
Audience: The intended audience includes those in either academia or government. It is scholarly but relatively understandable, although it is probably more useful for academicians than practitioners. Researchers and grant writers would find it useful.
Features: The book covers social and political issues facing the aging population in China. The chapters go into depth on numerical analysis and discuss the pros and cons of approaches and policies in China. The best part of the book is the well researched literature, the up-to-date information, and a true-to-life analysis of conditions for this population.
Assessment: This interesting and informative book provides valuable new insights into aging.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781489973696
Publisher: Springer US
Publication date: 03/03/2014
Series: International Perspectives on Aging , #2
Edition description: 2012
Pages: 284
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.03(d)

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