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Liu, Jieyu (2023) 'Filial piety, love or money? Foundation of old-age support in urban China.' Journal of Aging Studies, 64. p. 101104.

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This article explores the intertwining issues of filial obligation, material interest and emotional intimacy in driving adult children's provision of old-age support in family settings. Drawing upon multi-generational life history interviews with urban Chinese families, this article reveals how the configuration of these multiple forces is governed by the socio-economic and demographic context of a particular time. The findings dispute a lineal modernization model of transition and generational change (from past family relations structured by filial obligation to the present emotion-laden nuclear family). Instead the multi-generational analysis reveals a tightening association of multiple forces around the younger generation, intensified by the one-child demographic structure, post-Mao commercialization of urban housing and establishment of the market economy. Finally, this article highlights the role of performance in carrying out old-age support. “Surface work” is enacted in situations where tensions between conformity to public morality and private intents (emotional or material) cannot be reconciled.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Intimacy, Materiality, Filial piety, Aging, Generation, Gender, Life history research
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > SOAS China Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
ISSN: 08904065
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2023 18:16
Funders: European Union

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