This project offers an original approach to looking at the Chinese state’s vision of the family in the 21st century by exploring policy and media reporting about families bereaved by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Parents who lost a child, and spouses who lost a partner, were encouraged to either have another child or to remarry within a year of their loss. This book takes in the historical position of family in the Chinese state by drawing on existing literature, and adds an important new perspective on the role of the nuclear family in contemporary welfare and policy arrangements. By examining family through the lens of disaster, this book offers new clarity on the meaning of family to the state. In doing so, it addresses a gap in family research both by looking at wider state imaginaries of the family, and by looking at the family as a key institution in the aftermath of disasters. While scattered research has looked at aspects of these important areas before, this book brings together insights and fresh empirical research to argue that the Chinese state’s functionalist view of the family authorises only one family form (the nuclear family) as capable and legitimate in recovery and ‘normality.’ For this reason it addresses needs of both disaster studies and sociology of families and relationships in an original and compelling manner.