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Changing landscapes of support in the lives of Chinese urban elders: voices from Wuhan neighbourhoods

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rose Gilroy


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The change from a Soviet-style planned economy to one influenced by the market has rippled through all areas of Chinese life. This paper explores how changes to state financial support together with changing family dynamics are impacting on urban Chinese elders. Drawing on exploratory fieldwork in Wuhan, the paper takes an everydaylife approach to reveal new inequalities for older people. Changes to health-care costs are causing anxiety among many elders and plunging others into poverty. However, it is the family that emerges as pivotal to older people’s economic and social well-being. For those with decently employed children there are emerging opportunities for independence in later life; conversely, where children are low paid or out of work, it is parental income that is taking the strain. The paper concludes by setting these findings in a broader global context.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gilroy R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

Year: 2013

Volume: 31

Issue: 3

Pages: 428-443

ISSN (print): 0263-774X

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3425

Publisher: Pion Ltd.


DOI: 10.1068/c1193


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