Ingrid Jönsson and Yuegen Xiong: Changing Intergenerational Relationships in Contemporary China and Sweden: Consequences for Eldercare

Friday, July 18, 2014: 9:45 AM
Room: F203
Distributed Paper
Ingrid JÖNSSON , Sociology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Changing intergenerational relationships in contemporary China and Sweden: consequences for eldercare.


Although China and Sweden represent different stages of economic, social and demographic development, currently eldercare is an important social policy issue in both countries due to changing social and generational contracts. The paper aims at analysing recent developments of eldercare with regard to marketisation and de-/refamiliarisation departing from the frame of analysis suggested by Daly & Lewis (2000:287). Empirically it means that the division of responsibilities between the state, market, family or community at the macro level will be analysed while at the micro level this will be identified by who performs the caring, who receives benefits and available services, how does the relationship between caregiver and receiver look like, under what economic, social and normative conditions care is carried out and the rate of female labour market participation. This frame of analysis enables us to identify recent changes and point to similarities and differences of how social care for ageing populations is handled in different economic, social and demographic contexts. China and Sweden are chosen for the comparison as they traditionally represent a strong generational and a strong social contract respectively. The paper starts with historical reviews of the organisation of eldercare followed by a presentation of recent changes related to economic, social, cultural and demographic circumstances (e.g. migration, changing filial piety, family structure, size etc.) with consequences for generational and social contracts. Eldercare in everyday life will be discussed in relation to Daly & Lewis’s frame of analysis as well as in relation to the concept ‘care packages’ (used by Knijn, Jönsson, Klammer, 2005 compare income packaging used by Rainwater, Rein and Schwartz, 1986), i.e. which resources are used when caring for elderly and its impact on the relationship between caregivers and receivers (dependence/interdependence) and women.