Crystallising the ‘Nordic turn’ in Japan and patriarchal decline in China
in Between two worlds of father politics
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Chapter Seven illustrates that social science attention to fatherhood remains under-developed in China and Japan, and when studies did emerge they tended to follow the epistemologies and methodologies of the American school of child development. However, the chapter emphasises key differences whereby Japan is understood to be an East Asian exemplar of a welfare regime that has taken a ‘Nordic turn’ while China is considered to have exacerbated gender inequalities among young people and young married couples trough the One Child Family Planning Policy (1979) and the privatisation of housing. On the other hand, both China and Japan are illustrated to have dismantled Confucian patriarchy in favour of welfare regime development and the social policy regulation of fatherhood. Yet both regimes continue to stigmatise young professional single-women as non-married ‘parasite singles’ (Japan) or ‘left-over women’ (China).

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