Filial piety at a distance: a practice of older Chinese migrants' living arrangements

Li, Wendy Wen (2011) Filial piety at a distance: a practice of older Chinese migrants' living arrangements. In: Abstract Book of the 9th Biennial Conference of Asian Association of Social Psychology, p. 44. From: 9th Biennial Conference of the Asian Association of Social Psychology, 28-31 July 2011, Kunming, China.

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Abstract

In early Confucian texts, co-residence with one's parents was paramount in practicing filial piety and provided a key indicator of filial piety because co-residing with one’s parents was a proxy for demonstrating care. Living separately from the parental household was socially disapproved of and considered unfilial. Nonetheless, traditional extended family living arrangements are changing. Research has revealed that for older Chinese persons the predominant family form in contemporary China is nuclear. Older people reside either with a spouse only, or with a spouse and one or more unmarried children who are dependent on them. For Chinese families migrating to Western countries, parent-child co-residence appears to remain prominent. While parent-child co-residence among older Chinese immigrants is related to filial piety ideals and norms, often it is also sought out of necessity, such as financial constraints and the need for practical assistance from children when older people move to a new cultural environment. This paper explores the living arrangements of a group of older Chinese migrants who moved to New Zealand in their later lives. The methods of data collection and analysis were informed by a narrative approach. Three interviews were conducted with 32 older Chinese migrants from April 2008 to September 2009. Findings suggest that when the participants first arrived in New Zealand, all of them lived in the homes of their adult children. A general pattern in the living arrangements for the participants was that they often experienced pre-co-residence and parent-child co-residence stages, and some of them later moved to a 'filial piety at a distance' stage at which they lived away from their adult children. The paper presents an analysis of the participants' living arrangements and focus on family dynamics within the households in which the participants live and interact with other family members. This analysis reflects the notion that filial piety practices involve support and assistance not only from children to their ageing parents, but also from ageing parents to their children. Familial aged care is also interwoven with community, social and institutional support.

Item ID: 18416
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: filial piety, older Chinese migrants, living arrangements, self
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2012 02:13
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 100%
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