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Intersections between the culture of Xiao (孝) and caring for older relatives in China: perspectives of United Kingdom-based Chinese students on future care for their parents

Bifarin, O, Quinn, C, Breen, L, Zhang, B and Oyebode, J (2022) Intersections between the culture of Xiao (孝) and caring for older relatives in China: perspectives of United Kingdom-based Chinese students on future care for their parents. Ageing and Society. pp. 1-21. ISSN 0144-686X

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Emphasis placed on Xiao (孝; filial piety) in Chinese culture highlights parents' investment in their children with the expectation of being cared for when older. An increasing number of Chinese students come to the United Kingdom (UK) to study, with the majority returning home and likely to become future care-givers for their parents. Little attention has been paid to the implications of transnational mobility of Chinese students on the reciprocal aspects of future care responsibility. With the uniquely changing family structure due to consequences of the One-Child Policy, we conducted proactive research on the opportunities and challenges that Chinese transnational students anticipate they may face in future care-giving for elderly parents. Hence, this study's aim was to make a novel contribution to knowledge through exploration of the perspectives of Chinese students in England on intergenerational ties and filial obligations. Adopting a social constructivist philosophical position, we conducted three focus groups with 19 UK-based Chinese students, using a semi-structured topic guide with informed consent. Interviews were translated, transcribed and analysed using reflective thematic analysis, capturing semantic and latent meanings, and employed a descriptive and interpretative approach. Six themes were discovered, revealing a ‘culture of duty’ where familial obligation and societal expectations were prominent. Prospective care-givers anticipated a future dilemma between balancing work commitments and providing care as mandated by Xiao. Furthermore, it appeared that lack of preparedness might further exacerbate barriers faced when accessing support. We surmised that the changing demographics and absence of formal support could compound stressors over time, especially if cognitive dissonance arises as realities of life do not fit with societal expectations. Our findings imply that policy makers, practitioners and the government will need to adequately support prospective family care-givers who are returnees in caring for older generations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services; 16 Studies in Human Society; 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences; Gerontology
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Nursing & Allied Health
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 08:33
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2022 08:45
DOI or ID number: 10.1017/s0144686x22001118
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17814
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