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Friday, December 6 • 11:30am - 1:30pm

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Chair: Edwin Sayes

Fanqi Meng: How can we pay back? The end of the only child policy

Starting in the early 1980s, China has implemented a population control project, named the ‘only-child’ policy, to control the overwhelming population and restrain its growth. After 30 years, it significantly changed the family relationship, care-giving system, and demographic structure. However, facing severe aging population and care deficit instead of population boom, the government finally ended the policy in 2016 by converting it to a ‘two-child’ policy, hoping to control the future care collapse. In China, under the traditional culture, it is children’s responsibility to take care of their aging parents as a payback. For the only-child generation, unfortunately, a couple now should take care of their 4 parents and 1 or 2 children at the same time, of course cannot satisfy the needs for care within households. Therefore, this essay intends to explain the ‘care deficit’ now happening in China, especially for families in cities, who are mainly taking the consequences of the policy. The essay will start from reviewing the historical background of the ‘only child’ policy, as well as its impacts on individuals and family relations. Then it will draw back to the present to explore the care deficit in today’s society due to the policy, especially in relation to aging parents and the role of this care deficit in bringing to an end of the ‘only-child’ policy in China. Finally it will look into the future to forecast the possible future of the ‘Y generation’ in 10-20 years.

Julie Chambers: Swings and roundabouts – the making of child safety policy in Aotearoa New Zealand

This research set out to describe what influences the New Zealand government’s adoption of child injury prevention policies. Unintentional injuries (accidents) are a global child health problem. Many child injury prevention measures are proven to be effective, yet government and community prevention activities wax and wane through time and across locations. Some measures, such as child car seats, are mandated and enforced while the provision of other equally effective strategies, such as the enforcement of swimming pool fencing regulation are inconsistently adopted or ignored. Further, gains in child safety might be lost if well established, proven methods to prevent child injury are ignored or reversed. Methodological approaches included grounded and critical theory while Foucault’s concepts of governmentality and discourse provided theoretical context.
Interview data were thematically analysed, and the results accompanied by an illustrative case study to identify the factors that contribute to the adoption of child safety policy. At the same time caution was expressed about the possible perverse effects of well accepted strategies. The presentation concludes with recommendations for injury prevention practitioners and suggestions for further research.

Julie Chambers: The rise and fall of swimming pool fences – The New Zealand government’s retrenchment of drowning prevention policy

During the 1970s and 1980s the incidence of young children drowning in home swimming and spa pools went from being a relatively rare event, to be alarmingly common. Increasing affluence meant more people could afford swimming pools in back gardens, where families assumed it was safe for children to play. In one year alone (1983) 17 children drowned in New Zealand home swimming pools. The solution was simple and effective. In 1987 the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act required people to fence home swimming and spa pools. The numbers of children drowning in pools rapidly dropped and the legislation was hailed as a success.
Despite this acknowledgment, in 2016 the government repealed and replaced New Zealand’s swimming and spa pool fencing legislation. It is argued this action has reduced safety for New Zealand children. This case study examines the actions and complex relationships between the various players that resulted in this changed safety régime. Foucault’s concepts of governmentality and power are drawn upon to provide theoretical context. It concludes with advice for practitioners and recommendations for research. Child drowning in public places, such as at beaches and in rivers and streams are well described and are very different events.

Ashley Rudkevitch: Community comes in many shapes and forms: A qualitiative investigation into bridging and linking social capital in community resilience

On November 14 2016 a destructive earthquake ripped through the north east region of New Zealand’s South Island. It is widely known that the earthquake caused extensive damage to the environment, disrupted transportation networks, and impacted the local economy. As a result, there has been a significant amount of research on the resilience processes and recovery efforts in the North Canterbury region. However, there has been little research into the relationships between community members before the earthquake and the role these relationships played in connecting the community with decision-makers following the event. By applying an interpretive approach, with 24 semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and document analysis, this research aims to explore the sociological concepts of bridging and linking social capital following a disaster event. More specifically, this research will interrogate what defines community before and after a disaster, and whether this effectively translates into what is theoretically and practically known as ‘community resilience’. Drawing on preliminary analysis of the data, this presentation will outline how residents in Kaikōura navigated their pre-existing and new-founded social networks to work with local government in identifying and managing the economic, social, and environmental rebuild.

Ron Layton: Scottishness in Modern Age South Australia

Like New Zealand, South Australia attracted a significant pro rata percentage of Scots over its history. However, initially a British province rather than a colony, it had an evolution that was quite different from the other Australian States, this being translated into the modern age. The little research into Scottish Australia has been almost totally focused on the four eastern States, failing to take into account the unique South Australian situation. Furthermore, it has largely been through an historiography lens, often cutting off decades ago and thus neglecting more recent phenomena. Whilst this history is important there is also a need for a sociological perspective on the more recent period. This study has taken place over two years and is a precursor to a Report to the Scottish Government as it attempts to better understand their country’s vast diaspora and their connections. It has been ethnographic in approach but also using an extensive literature relating to other countries and cultures.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.


Edwin Sayes

Research Fellow, University of Auckland
avatar for Julie Chambers

Julie Chambers

research, Home
Julie Chambers graduated with a PhD in public policy and child injury prevention from the University of Waikato in 2019. Julie initially completed an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Education at the University of Auckland. While serving as an elected representative in Auckland's... Read More →
avatar for Ron Layton

Ron Layton

Prior to retirement I was a senior executive in across 3 government departments and finally in the Attorney Generals Departments, as Directors Strategic Programmes for the Justice portfolio. In retirement I have had academic status at Flinders University in the College of Business... Read More →

Friday December 6, 2019 11:30am - 1:30pm NZDT
206-215 - Seminar Room 5