Archive | 2021

The Mobility of the Elderly and Family-Based Care: A Case Study of Chinese Migrant (Grand)Parents



This chapter focuses on elderly Chinese migrants, who have migrated within the country in order to take care of their grandchildren. It explores these grandparents’ mobility in relation to the intergenerational contract on care, a cultural praxis that constitutes the core of the family-based care regime in China. Based on qualitative data from 16 in-depth interviews with migrant grandparents living in Shenzhen, we analyse their decisions to move and their future plans regarding the dilemma of whether to stay or to return home. The analysis is embedded in recent discussions of Chinese descending familism or neo-familism. Additionally, the chapter proposes to add a welfare perspective in order to better understand the continuing internal migrations in China and highlights the connections between the migration of the elderly and China’s family-based care regime into which the care arrangements within the family are incorporated. Inspired by the concept of the ‘welfare resource environment’, we propose a conceptualisation of a translocal care space comprising transversal generational, sibling and in-law relations in order to understand the mobility of older migrants in relation to the care needs and arrangements within the family. Consequently, the mobility of the elderly can be understood as being determined by how these older migrants position themselves within the translocal care space.

Volume None
Pages 15-32
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-67615-5_2
Language English
Journal None

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