This paper examines how material and emotional investments in childrearing are rendered culturally meaningful in Chinese middle-class families in Singapore, and its consequences for family life. The competitive education system is a major concern for families with young children, and parents often invest substantial resources and energy in their children’s upbringing. The ‘overburdening’ of middle-class schoolchildren appears in most modern societies, as childhood has become a site of accumulation and commodification. But how can we understand the cultural logics of this seemingly global phenomenon? How is the representation of the child as accumulation strategy entangled with a gendered renegotiation of parenting strategies in everyday life? How do states shape and define notions of the value of children in and through existing policies and ideologies? Based on ethnographic data, I will illustrate how parents with young children perceive and handle childrearing, parenting arrangements and the meaning of educational success.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Social Work
- Population policy
- Children as accumulation strategy