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Word Count: 614
China Families and Marriage Urban families differ from their rural counterparts primarily in being composed largely of wage earners who look to their work units for the housing old-age security and opportunities for a better life that in the countryside are still the responsibility of the family With the exception of those employed in the recently revived urban service sector restaurants tailoring or repair shops who sometimes operate family businesses urban families do not combine family and enterprise in the manner of peasant families Urban families usually have multiple wage earners but children do not bring in extra income or wages as readily as in the countryside Urban families are generally smaller than their rural counterparts and in a reversal of traditional patterns it is the highest level managers and cadres who have the smallest families Late marriages and one or two children are characteristic of urban managerial and professional groups As in the past elite family forms are b eing promoted as the model for everyone Three-generation families are not uncommon in cities and a healthy grandparent is probably the ideal solution to the childcare and housework problems of most families About as many young children are cared for by a grandparent as are enrolled in a workunit nursery or kindergarten institutions that are far from universal Decisions on where a newly married couple is to live often depend on the availability of housing Couples most often establish their own household frequently move in with the husbands parents or much less often may move in with the wifes parents Both the state and the society expect children to look after their aged parents In addition a retired worker from a state enterprise will have a pension and often a relatively desirable apartment as well Under these circumstances elderly people are assets to a family Those urban families employing unregistered maids from the countryside are most likely those without healthy grandparents Families play
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