Transnational care circulations, changing intergenerational relations and the ageing aspirations of Chinese grandparenting migrants in Singapore

Tuen Yi CHIU*, Elaine Lynn‐ee HO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

Contrary to the perception that older adults are passive care dependents of their children, some Chinese older adults are becoming primary caregivers in migrant families. Using the case of Chinese older migrants who move temporarily to Singapore for grandparenting duties, this article examines the grandparenting migrants’ contributions to social reproduction through transnational care circulation and underscores how their migratory experience changes their perspectives of intergenerational familial contract. While previous studies on older migrants tend to consider the impacts of welfare support in the migrant‐receiving context, we extend that body of work by integrating analyses of the private sphere with the public sphere across the migrant‐sending and ‐receiving contexts to examine how transformations in both domains impact the grandparenting migrants’ ageing subjectivities. Our findings reveal gradual changes to the intergenerational familial contract in Chinese migrant families. The grandparenting migrants minimise their expectations of intergenerational reciprocity and instead emphasise the well‐being of the next generation and maintaining their autonomy in later life. Their aspiration for independent ageing, we argue, is made possible by the expanded state social protection in the homeland and the realisation that depending on their migrant children for old age care could be impractical and unfavourable for both generations
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia Pacific Viewpoint
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund. Grant Number: MOET2017‐T2‐019

Keywords

  • Chinese familyhood
  • ageing subjectivities
  • care circulation
  • grandparenting migrants
  • intergenerational relations
  • migration policies

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