Governing Sexual Health in the People's Republic of China

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
China's Governmentalities: governing change, changing government, 2009, 1, pp. 151 - 173
Issue Date:
2009-01
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China's post-1978 shift from a planned to a market economy has been accompanied by the withdrawal ofthe Party-state from much of its previous commitment to social welfare provision. This situation has not only heightened people's vulnerability to basic risks, but also generated new expectations that individuals will become more self-regulating in areas such as health management, education and job creation (Hyde 2007151-52; Saich 2004: 1-27). In China today, as in many western societies, health increasingly is viewed as a commodity - something that can be bought and sold through privatized healthcare programmes or the consumption of health products - and as an individual goal- it is an individual's moral and social responsibility to be healthy and to remain healthy. In other words, health is not just a 'base or default state'; it is something to be monitored, protected and worked toward via the maintenance of a healthy life-style, both for the sake of oneself and for the good of society as a whole (Clarke et al. 2003: 162, 171-72).
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