Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.


Lindsay R. Mayka

Second Advisor

Walter F. Hatch


The People’s Republic of China today faces a rapidly growing demand for care. Care consists of childcare, eldercare, and various domestic duties. Due to the increased pressures for dual-earner families and the aging population, there has emerged a significant deficit between the amount of care needed and the care available. In recent years, private employee-based enterprises have risen to a prominent position in the system of care provision. The phenomenon leads to questions of how states structure care provision. This paper seeks to answer two questions. First, what care-regime model has arisen in Shanghai to meet the demands of the population? Why did this care regime develop rather than another model? I find that the care regime in Shanghai can be characterized as a liberal-patriarchal system, and that the system diverges from other experiences with care regimes because of the unique demographic trends at play in China. The current care regime literature is based solely on the experiences of Europe and the United States, lacking analysis of the developing world. My research utilizes newspaper archives, government documents, population data and in-person interviews to analyze the model that has emerged in Shanghai and investigate the benefits of the model. My research provides a necessary analysis of the care regime in Shanghai, the dynamics involved in developing a care regime, and the significance of this model for stakeholders.


China, care regimes, family policy, domestic workers, women