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The Intergenerational Contract in the Changing Asian Family

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    A contemporary Asia-wide concern is the common fear that modernization or urbanization, migration, the demographic transition, new lifestyle aspirations and the spread of Western values have emphasized individual rather than collective familial interests and thus eroded filial obligations. This paper, based on ethnographic studies across East, South-East and South Asia, suggests that far from being eroded, the generations have taken new steps to invest in the intergenerational contract, which has been renegotiated and reinterpreted by both generations in support of a robust and reciprocated cycle of care. The paper concludes that this is a pragmatic, necessary and far-sighted response to the development strategies and social policies supported by Asian states. It can be argued that, in Asian societies, it is the familial contract and familial exclusion rather than a social contract and social exclusion that are more pertinent to individual well-being, and that intergenerational resource flows significantly subsidize contemporary Asian development strategies.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 473-491

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:34:y:2006:i:4:p:473-491
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