Inaugural WUN Global China Conference: Family Transition, Ageing, and Social Security in China

Since its reform and open-door policy, China has witnessed not only phenomenal economic growth but also significant social and cultural transformations, as vividly shown by the changing nature of Chinese families, including the one-child families, single-parent families, and families with the so called “left-behind” children, who live with their grandparents or other relatives as their parents moved to the cities for employment.

A closely related issue is ageing. China is rapidly becoming the world’s largest ageing society because of the one-child policy and the drop in mortality rate due to improved healthcare. This will not only have an important bearing on economic growth, but also generate many new social problems, such as elderly care and social security, and humanistic concerns, such as the moral, spiritual, and cultural terrains of the elderly.

To understand China’s present and more importantly its future, it is important to have a deeper insight of the interconnections of family transitions, ageing, and social security in various dimensions, including the social science and humanistic perspectives, and mechanisms underlying these changes. Some of the key issues include, for example:

  1. socioeconomic causes and consequences of China’s demographic change,
  2. the promotion of family stability and the protection of disadvantaged groups,
  3. the role of social security in providing a safe-net for the elderly and reforms needed to address the currently fragmented social security system. 

The conference intends to bring experts from different disciplines such that key issues can be brainstormed, key knowledge gaps can be collectively identified, and interdisciplinary collaborative plans can be fostered.  

The objectives of the conference are:

  1. To examine the key issues arising from family transition, ageing and social security in China. 
  2. To combine the strengths and expertise of leading China scholars from around the world and provide a unique global perspective on China’s social and cultural transformations.
  3. To launch the WUN Global China Group as an initiative in the "two way understanding of China" that will be readily accepted in China and elsewhere.
  4. To formulate an eminently fundable and sustainable action plan that the conference participants can take forward as a group.

Further Information and Enquries

For up-to-date information on the conference, please refer to the official conference website

Associated Research Groups