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Informal Payments and Regulations in China's Healthcare System

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Chinese health care policy social history of medical professions bureaucracy Buddhism Chinese literature. Articles Cited by. Informal economies in post-socialist spaces, , So, the country or the government won't intervene the divorce most of the time. Finally, the husband may unilaterally declare a divorce.

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After the establishment of the People's Republic in , the country's new Marriage Law also explicitly provided for lawful divorces. Women were permitted to divorce their husbands and many did, sparking resistance from rural males especially. Kay Ann Johnson reported that tens of thousands of women in north central China were killed for seeking divorces or committed suicide when blocked from doing so.


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During the Mao era — divorce was rare, but in the reform era, it has become easier and more commonplace. A USC U.

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Still, the divorce rate in China is less than half what it is in the United States. This is evident, for example in the new 'divorce buffer zones' established in the marriage registration offices in certain provinces, which is a room where the couples wait, as a stage within the divorce application procedure, and are encouraged to talk things over and consider giving their marriage another chance. Amendments have also been made to Article 32 of the revised Marriage Law. Parties to a marriage can apply for Divorce under, and by showing, the following grounds:.

In ancient China, women did not have social status. A woman could only obey and rely on her husband; even if her husband was dead, she was still not allowed to remarry. While the man could have many wives and many concubines, the emperor had imperial harems. The general dignitaries also had many wives and concubines.


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A man could marry many women and not be held to legal restrictions. Sororate marriage is a custom in which a man marries his wife's sister s. Later it is expanded to include her cousins or females from the same clan. It can happen at the same time as he marries the first wife, at a later time while the wife is still alive, or after she dies. This practice occurred frequently among the nobility of the Zhou Dynasty BC — BC , with cases occurring at later times.

Beside the traditional desire for male children to carry on the family name, this allowance partially resolves a dilemma created by the emperor himself. He had recently banned all non- patrilineal forms of inheritance , while wanting to preserve the proper order in the Chinese kinship. Therefore, a couple without son cannot adopt one from within the extended family.

They either have to adopt from outside which was regarded by many as passing the family wealth to unrelated "outsiders" , or become heirless. The multiple inheritance marriages provided a way out when the husband's brother has a son. Under these circumstances, a male from the poorer family, generally a younger sibling, will marry into the wealthier family in order to continue their family line. In a ruzhui lit. They generally came from lower social status or were bought as slaves. Women who had eloped may have also become concubines since a formal wedding requires her parents' participation.

The number of concubines was sometime regulated, which differs according to the men's rank. In ancient China, men of higher social status often supported several concubines, and Chinese emperors almost always had dozens of, even hundreds of royal concubines. Despite the limitations imposed on ancient Chinese concubines, history and literature have examples of concubines achieving great power and influence. For example, in one of the Four Great Classical Novels of China, The Dream of the Red Chamber believed to be a semi-autobiographical account of author Cao Xueqin 's own family life , three generations of the Jia family are supported by one favorite concubine of the emperor.

Imperial concubines, kept by emperors in the Forbidden City , were traditionally guarded by eunuchs to ensure that they could not be impregnated by anyone but the emperor. Cixi first entered the court as a concubine to the Xianfeng Emperor and gave birth to an illegitimate male heir, who would become the Tongzhi Emperor. The emperor passed over many legitimate male heirs and named Cixi's son the crown prince. She would eventually become the de facto ruler of the Manchu Qing Dynasty in China for 47 years after her son's death.

Traditionally, a married woman is expected to live with her husband's family. When the husband has to live away from his family, however, she has to stay with her in-laws and take care of them. A man who thus suffers chronic separation from his wife, such as a traveling merchant, may "marry" another woman where he lives and set up a separate household with her. Due to the geographical separation, the second woman often regards herself as a full wife for all practical matters, yet legally this marriage is not recognized, and she is treated as a concubine.

In China specifically, in cases where the primary wife fails to have sons to preserve the male lineage, i. Although modern Chinese law explicitly prohibits polygamy, there has been a recent surge of polygamy in mainland China. Since then the practice has spread to local affluent men. Some juries in China consider married people who leave home to live with their lovers to have committed bigamy. However most law cases filed were before , and as of [update] the situation does not really differ from that in western countries. People will not get prosecuted for "bigamy" for out-of-marriage relationships as long as they do not register another marriage, but might be required to cede more possessions in divorce cases involving a former wife.

Polyandry , the practice of one woman having multiple husbands, is traditionally considered by Han as immoral , prohibited by law, and uncommon in practice. However, historically there have been instances in which a man in poverty rents or pawns his wife temporarily. However amongst other Chinese ethnicities polyandry existed and exists, especially in mountainous areas.

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In a subsistence economy , when available land could not support more than one family, dividing it between surviving sons would eventually lead to a situation in which none would have the resources to survive; in such a situation a family would together marry a wife, who would be the wife of all the brothers in the family. Polyandry in certain Tibetan autonomous areas in modern China remains legal. This however only applies to the ethnic minority Tibetans of the region and not to other ethnic groups. Written by Merry E. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Traditional marriage customs. The absence of concepts of anthropological origin alongside the adop- tion of neo-institutionalist ideas had a decisive influence on how scholars interpreted the changes that occurred after Their origin in neo-institutionalist economics is, however, often left unaddressed. Some authors may even be unaware of it Thelen , p. The new institutionalist thought entered the literature on informality often in an implicit way, through the back door.

The problem in buying into the new institu- tionalist arguments is that they indeed depict an undersocialised version of economic life in general and of informal practices in particular. This perspective is rooted in a belief that informal institutions and economic practices are designed to enable economic exchange. In doing so, this literature assigns a narrow instrumental meaning to informal practices and institutions, and dismisses the possibility that reproduction of these practices is important for non-economic reasons, primarily for providing abel.

Social bonds, in this view, are not always frictions or inefficiencies to be eliminated in moderniza- tion, because these ties can be efficient in an historical context … But there is an elision in their model, for new institutionalists are explaining only the uses, predications, or spillovers of existent mutuality.

By presuming that individuals are self-interested, which leads to contextually efficient institutions, new insti- tutionalists fail to account for the prior, necessary presence of relationships that constitutes these persons-in-community Gudeman , p. In summary then, the new institutionalist perspective has largely repre- sented a modified but still quite orthodox formalist way of interpreting economic life. What I find even more concerning is that the attempts to overcome the implicit or explicit influences of new institutionalist thought have so far come only halfway, and have failed in critically and straightfor- wardly engaging with such influences.

Recent literature on post-socialist informality has indeed challenged the primacy of economistic and profit- seeking reasoning of individuals, asserting that informal economic practices are socially and culturally embedded phenomena Morris ; Morris and Polese a, ; Williams, The problem with the recent literature on embedded informal prac- tices is, I suggest, twofold. First, this literature does not articulate what the empirical findings about the embeddedness of informality imply in relation to new institutionalist thought.

Hence, at best, this literature leaves the new institutionalist remedies and advocacy for the security of property rights, contract enforcement, reduction of taxes and regula- tions, unchallenged. At worst, it explicitly cites the champions of new institutionalist thought, such as De Soto, and implicitly reproduces the perception of choices between formality and informality as a matter of cost—benefit calculation. This challenge is even more acute when we use this conception in relation to informality.

What differ- entiates informal practices from any other practices in case ongoing social relations similarly influence all economic exchange? Do we, in such a case, simply abandon the difference between formal and informal practices, or do we abandon embeddedness as a descriptive, differentiating tool, given that it is assumed to be universally present?

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As mentioned above, I posit that the substantivist reading of post- Soviet economies can overcome the two challenges of the literature on informality. First, its inability to critically re-evaluate the instrumental reading of informal practices and institutions as suggested by the new institutionalists.

Second, its inability to elaborate the concept of embeddedness to make it analytically useful for understanding informality. From a substantivist point of entry, one cannot take the existence of a mar- ket economy or the assumptions about human behaviour for granted.