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Call for Abstracts: SnoW 2016 Shanghai Workshop

The SNoW 2016 Workshop invites papers on family-work relations and related social policies and welfare institutions in China and the Nordic countries.

Participants at the SNoW 2014 conference at the Nordic Centre, Fudan University in Shanghai. The title of the conference was: "Between Universality and Conditionality: Migration, Mobility and Welfare Rights".
Participants at the SNoW 2014 conference at the Nordic Centre, Fudan University in Shanghai. The title of the conference was: "Between Universality and Conditionality: Migration, Mobility and Welfare Rights".

Work-life imbalance has become a critical challenge in modern societies. Research and policies concerning a well-functioning work-life balance has been high on the agenda of European welfare states during the last two decades, and for even longer in the Nordic countries. Currently the scope and generosity of welfare policies in Europe, including the Nordic countries, are under pressure.

In the wake of China's increasing labor market competition, changes in the role of social gender, and increased population mobility, the question of how to reconcile family and work has become more serious. To some extent, late marriage, postponed childbearing after marriage and declining fertility rate are indicators of work-to-family conflicts. China has over the last two years moved from a predominant one-child policy via “two-children-for-only-one-child-couples” to “a pervasive two-children-policy” as of 2016. An important policy challenge is how to simultaneously better support families in order to increase labor market participation, promote flexible work arrangements, and facilitate child care for working men and women. Will the recent changes in child policies positively affect childbearing, or are other elements of family policies necessary in order to relieve work pressure and reconcile work and family life? Labour migration and family separation are key issues to understand current Chinese challenges: there are around 60 million left-behind children. 50 million left-behind wives, and 60 million left-behind elderly. The extent of separation of family and work in urbanizing China not only negatively influences family well-being, but may also be expected to deter the process of urbanization.

The Nordic countries have gained experience from policies of paid parental leave, including encouragement of fathers to participate in care work, and institutionalized child care. Female labour market participation is relatively high, and fertility rates are among the highest in Europe, although below the level needed for reproduction of the population. What is the Nordic experience? What do we know, and what can be learnt and be of relevance for China and other developing and middle-income countries?

The SNoW 2016 Workshop invites papers on family-work relations and related social policies and welfare institutions in China and the Nordic countries. The aim is to increase knowledge about policy experiences and lessons to be taken and lessons which can be of relevance for policy development in order to achieve a better family-work balance in transforming China.

Papers are invited on the following and related topics: 1. family-to-work impacts; 2. work-to-family impacts; 3. gender and family-work relations; 4. migration and family separation in China; 5. ageing of the population and elderly care in families; 6. family well-being and social policy.

The Workshop is planned for 15-20 participants and the organization of sessions will be decided when information on participants and papers is available.

Those interested in participating in the workshop should provide the following information before 15 June 2016:

Title of paper; - Abstract (ca. 100 words); - Contact details (author(s), affiliation, postal address, phone number, and e-mail address.

Information should be sent to members of the Organizing Committee: Stein Kuhnle, University of Bergen, Yuan Ren, Fudan University, Pauli Kettunen, University of Helsinki, Regina Wang, Nordic Centre, Fudan University.