November 30, 2018

"For centuries in China, the phrase 'four generations under one roof' was synonymous with the ideal family."

"In just a few short words, it encapsulated the dreams of fertility, longevity, and harmony to which hundreds of millions of Chinese aspired. Today, however, the country’s traditional, tight-knit family unit is under siege from a combination of declining birth rates, delayed marriages, and domestic migration. No demographic has been harder-hit by these changes than the 240 million Chinese over the age of 60. A recently published report estimates that as of 2016, the number of elderly Chinese living apart from their children had ballooned to 118 million....  [I]f the government really wants to improve the mental health of its older citizens, it must find ways to reduce the number of solitary and empty-nest elderly.... One important step forward would be to amend the country’s existing hukou household registration system. Originally designed to keep urban and rural residents in their respective places, the system now effectively works to keep the elderly — many of whom are limited to rural hukou — from joining their children in the city... Action should also be taken to address concerns over skyrocketing rents and housing costs. It is not realistic to expect young Chinese couples to bring their parents under their roofs when they can only afford to live in tiny studio apartments."

From "How China Can Help Its Empty-Nest Seniors/With millions of elderly Chinese now living alone, it’s incumbent upon the state to give them a better life" (Sixth Tone).

20 comments:

Lucid-Ideas said...

ε››δΈ–εŒε ‚ has been on its way out for a much longer time than that. Honestly HuKou and one child policy killed it, and that's been going on for almost 40+ years.

Something interesting though has occurred. The combination of HuKou, one child policy, and economic development in the cities has resulted in the recent (2 decades) growing favorability of girls within China's family structure. Why? Well apparently, the boys don't want to honor their traditional familial obligation to take care of mom and dad past retirement, while the girls seem more willing. The boys are also far more mobile, many choosing to leave home and go farther away than the daughters.

gerry said...

Communists hate family. They work to destroy that societal element since it deprives the state of Communism's demand to make the state the only true social authority.

It is the state to which individuals must be loyal. This is the normal outcome of typical socialist family policies.

It has even happened here: look at how Progressive Democrat policies destroyed the black family structure since the mid-twentieth century, enslaved millions in obedience to governing authority, and enriched white Progressive Democrats.

Nonapod said...

It must be weird to have to look to "The State" to solve all your problems.

tim maguire said...

They should gather the elderly into old people cities. China has a number of ghost cities from its housing bubble. Put them there.

n.n said...

A juxtaposition of government and family, in the wake of one-child policy and high-density population centers.

Shouting Thomas said...

The issue that led me to break up with my girlfriend was my decision to buy a house with an in-law apartment with my daughter and son-in-law.

My girlfriend said: "Nobody does that any more."

I'm never lonely. Three toddler grandkids living upstairs.

William Chadwick said...

Two generations of my family under one roof would lead to homicide. Four generations would result in a massacre.

Shouting Thomas said...

Two generations of my family under one roof would lead to homicide. Four generations would result in a massacre.

Years ago, I would have predicted that outcome.

My daughter, son-in-law and I have simply put aside our differences, be they religious or political or whatever, in order to keep a happy home for the kids.

Two years in and we haven't even had an argument.

They really need the help with the kids. The freedom from financial worry that I gained by mostly letting them handle that end of the deal is quite wonderful.

Carol said...

Four generations..sounds wonderful. I used to work with a singer who was Mexican, and her family included her, her parents, grandparents, and Mama Lita quietly puttering in the kitchen..not sure whose parents they were, or how that is worked out.

But people nowadays seem to lack something - humility? - to get along with extended family. My own parent would come to live and seem happy for awhile, then get discontented, start making demands, giving ultimatums. Harrumph! I'm outta here. She did that with everybody. Her way or the highway.

Too bad because she was good company when she wanted to be.

Jack Wayne said...

“It’s incumbent on the State....”. Odd how even in a communist dictatorship, you can never get all the government you need.

William Chadwick said...

It should be pointed out that China is not, nor has ever been, a hotbed of individualism.

Static Ping said...

The Chinese state does not care about this issue at all, other than how it impacts their power. If the situation comes to the point where it is undermining the state or at least perceived to be undermining the state, then they will do something. Keep in mind this is a government that currently uses Sinkiang province as a semi-concentration camp.

Seeing Red said...

Almost 10% of the population and it’s going to get worse.

The New China.

elkh1 said...

That may be the way China can help its empty-nesters, but does China want to. The govt. really wants to get rid of these non-productive people who are sponging on society.

Phil 3:14 said...

If only they had more icebergs.

Luke Lea said...

Equally tragic, China's state-owned banks appear to be squandering the life savings of Chinese working people on boondoggle infrastructure projects that will never pay back -- savings on which these people are depending for support in their old age now that they can no longer depend on their children. Hope I am wrong about this.

Danno said...

Checking in late here, I was expecting that someone would have created a haiku on hukou. Or at least a bye-ku.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Thousands of years of tradition and wisdom shitcanned in two generations in favor of leftist tyranny. It's happening here.

Ryan said...

Shouting Thomas good arrangement. I guess you co-signed on the place?

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