Those interested in issues pertaining to population control and family planning might like to listen to this Australian Radio National podcast, which charts the history of the one child policy in China: it’s making, and its effects. Imagine a generation of adults who have grown up with no aunts and uncles, no cousins, and who are the sole grandchild of doting grandparents. What kind of society does this furnish?
A question the program does not ask, however, is what alternative kinship ties (if any) develop within such a society?
Besides the well known sex selection that has occurred as a result of the one child policy — China now has a generation of lonely (heterosexual) men — it seems to me at least ironic that a policy which sole regard was for the benefit of the state has given rise to a generation who only knows how to think about ‘numero uno’. Now that’s policy making on the fly. Or as Foucault once provocatively said, today’s solutions become tomorrow’s problems.