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The Intergenerational Contract in the Changing Asian Family




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.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisabeth J. Croll, 2006. "The Intergenerational Contract in the Changing Asian Family," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 473-491.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:34:y:2006:i:4:p:473-491
    DOI: 10.1080/13600810601045833

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    Cited by:

    1. Premchand Dommaraju, 2015. "One-person households in India," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(45), pages 1239-1266, June.
    2. Teerawichitchainan, Bussarawan & Pothisiri, Wiraporn & Long, Giang Thanh, 2015. "How do living arrangements and intergenerational support matter for psychological health of elderly parents? Evidence from Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 136, pages 106-116.
    3. Wen-Chun Chang, 2013. "Family Ties, Living Arrangement, and Marital Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 215-233, March.
    4. Bussarawan Teerawichitchainan & John Knodel & Wiraporn Pothisiri, 2015. "What does living alone really mean for older persons? A comparative study of Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(48), pages 1329-1360, June.

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