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Can 'distant water ... quench the instant thirst'? The renegotiation of familial support in rural China in the face of extensive out migration

Cook, Joanne; Liu, Jieyu


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Professor Joe Cook
Professor in Organisational Behaviour/Human Resources Management

Jieyu Liu


This article addresses debates on modernisation, ageing and intergenerational support in developing/emerging economies. By examining the impact of rural to urban migration on elder support in Chinese rural families, it examines how support is being renegotiated and the implications this holds for experiences of growing older. It is positioned critically within the Chinese rural families literature, both drawing on research that reveals the continued influence of familial culture (Silverstein 2009; Lin and Yi 2011, 2013; Guo, Chi and Silverstein 2011) while arguing that this research has under-examined the strain this places on rural families, emerging conflicts and the potentially negative implications for gender and ageing. A gendered intergenerational lens is adopted to examine how generations experience and interpret these changes in the form and delivery of intergenerational support. The article focuses on the experiences and lives of the older parents, and older women in particular, to address some of the oversights in existing literature.


Cook, J., & Liu, J. (2016). Can 'distant water ... quench the instant thirst'? The renegotiation of familial support in rural China in the face of extensive out migration. Journal of Aging Studies, 37, 29-39.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 13, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 16, 2016
Publication Date 2016-04
Deposit Date Mar 3, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Journal of aging studies
Print ISSN 0890-4065
Electronic ISSN 1879-193X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Pages 29-39
Keywords Rural ageing; Rural China; Intergenerational relations; Familial support; Gender; Migration; Modernisation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Journal of aging studies, 2016, v.37


Article.pdf (379 Kb)

Copyright Statement
©2016, Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

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