chapter  11
Capacity building for family development
Pages 12

Families could be described as the ‘cells’ of society. They are the microenvironment in which the material and mental life of human beings is carried out. They are the basic unit of decision-making in society, and a core beneficiary of social relationships. In China, they have seen tremendous changes in recent times as the great wave of modernization has swept over the country. That wave has included demographic changes, economic development, and social transformation. It has changed the way people live. Families remain, however, a critical component of society. The ‘family’ is still the vehicle for carrying out vital functions. As such, it is key to social stability and sustainable social and economic development. Building what is called ‘capacity’ for family well-being is intimately related to China’s future social and economic development. This chapter explores concrete policy measures in that regard. It focuses on how the ‘family’ has changed in China, and the affect that changes are having. It looks at the major problems families are facing in the course of social transformation. Finally, it proposes specific ways to formulate and implement effective policy that is aimed at building the capacities families need to cope with change.