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Past Event

Ageing in Rural China: Migration and Care Circulation

About the Speaker

Dr Jieyu Liu

Dr Jieyu Liu is Reader in Sociology and China Studies and Deputy Director at the SOAS China Institute. Her research interests include gender, sexuality, family and generation in China. She is the author of Gender and Work in Urban China: Women Workers of the Unlucky Generation and Gender Sexuality and Power in Chinese Companies: Beauties at Work. In 2015, she was awarded a five-year European Research Council grant to examine changing family relations in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

This event is part of a seminar series:

Hilary Term 2018 Seminar Series: Population Ageing in countries that have experienced war, revolution, and economic transition

Hilary Term 2018 Seminar Series Population Ageing in countries that have experienced war, revolution, and economic transition Seminar Room: 66 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PR Convener: Professor Christopher Davis

Post event resources

This paper applies the concept of care circulation to the processes involved in the care of old people in rural China,an area which has hitherto been predominantly located in a quantitatively based intergenerational transfer framework. Drawing upon a qualitative study of rural families in the context of rural to urban migration, this article examines the multidirectional and asymmetrical exchanges of caregiving and care-receiving and seeks to provide a more nuanced understanding of the impact of migration upon ageing and familial care in rural China. First, going beyond a unidirectional flow or two-way transfer, this article reveals that care circulates between different family members, in different locations, to differing degrees, over the life course. This circulation framework enables an examination of intra-generational dynamics as well as intergenerational relations. Second, this article draws attention to the mediating factors that impact upon the ways in which adult children care for the older generation. It reveals how the employment status of migrating adult children, the temporal dimension of migration and family life cycle of migrating children as well as family relations between the older generation and adult child generation are critical factors. These factors also contribute to the quality of care provided. Finally, while confirming existing scholarship that gender is an important dimension in structuring old age support in rural China, this article calls for a more differentiated approach among generations of women and between regions, revealing the ways in which local migration history interacts with intergenerational dynamics to determine the cohort of women that endure the greatest burden of care.

Event Details

01 February 2018 14:00 - 15:30


Oxford Institute of Population Ageing

66 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PR