Care circulation and the so-called ‘elderly’: exploring care in 4G transnational Zhejianese families

Laura Lamas-Abraira

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    Abstract

    © 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Studies on care in Chinese transnational families often rely on bi-generational exchanges, failing to capture how care circulates within the families from a fully-generational perspective. The so-called ‘elderly’ is a key group for understanding care and mobility in these families; nevertheless, the existing research focuses either on their role as children caregivers or sees them as dependent people, resulting in a polarized perspective which also fails to understand the fluidity of care roles along the life course. Moreover, the generic term ‘the elderly’ may refer to one of several generations (grandparents/ great-grandparents). Based on qualitative data from a multi-sited ethnography (in China and Spain), this paper explores the circulation of care within four-generation transnational Zhejianese families. In these, the gendered construction of care work is the norm, despite the fact that new spaces for challenging specific gendered roles and practices are being created. In contrast, a high level of plurality and fluidity in care exchanges and care roles across generations, time and space has been observed. These factors are shaped, to different degrees, by local and transnational contexts, with the Chinese culture-system playing a key role. Finally, the paper highlights the contributions of the grandparents’ generation to families and society.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Family Studies
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

    Keywords

    • 4G Chinese family
    • care circulation
    • migration

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