Do Grandparents Benefit from Grandparenting?

Grandparental child care is traditionally considered an altruistic act. Therefore, research on this intergenerational exchange has focused on its effects on the younger generations, e.g., grandchildren’s developmental outcomes, cognitive stimulation, and educational attainment; but also middle generation’s benefits deriving from grandparents’ help. The unpaid child care provided by grandparents, by favouring mothers’ labour force participation, is also likely to produce benefits for the welfare system, especially when the child care services offered by the market are costly and public provision is scarce.

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How Bad Demography Has Contributed to Pronatalist Policy in Iran

During the 1990s, Iran secured one of – if not the – fastest fertility declines  of any country in history. In the mid-1980s, the total fertility rate in Iran was more than 5.6. BY 2000 this had fallen to below replacement rate (around 2.0) This was achieved through the implementation of a highly progressive family planning policy  in tandem with increased employment and educational opportunities for women. Today, fertility in Iran is around 1.9.

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Pauperia and Tycoonia: Population and Sustainability

Once upon a time, population was a central issue in the international debate on the future of the planet. Despite profound ideological and political differences among the major players of the global scene, there was consensus that population growth and change were major factors affecting social and economic development. This common awareness reached a climax between the early 1970s and early 1990s, marked by three UN-sponsored Conferences in Bucharest (1974), Mexico (1984) and Cairo (1994). The latter Conference (ICPD, or International Conference on Population and Development) approved a major declaration (Programme of Action) containing a summa of all desirable actions to be initiated, implemented or sustained, concerning all facets of population dynamics, in the full respect of human rights, and oriented to achieve sustainable development [1]. Continue reading

The Emergence of the Japanese Juku Industry

Japanese education is made up of two sectors – school education and shadow education. Although the school system is always discussed officially, shadow education, which is usually called juku in Japanese, has rarely been discussed officially or studied academically. However, the latter has really earned trust from people and it is no exaggeration to say that the jukus have sustained the academic performance of Japanese people in the post-war[i] period. And owing to this dual structure, Japanese education can be considered a huge experimental field for education policies, systems, and methods. Therefore, I would like to draw the attention of researchers and policymakers who are interested in sociology of education, privatization of education, and education in the information age, etc.  In particular, I would like to give a brief outline of the background in which the juku industry emerged.

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