APL Banner

Changing landscapes of support in the lives of Chinese urban elders: voices from Wuhan neighbourhoods (2013)

Author(s): Gilroy R

    Abstract: 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.

      • Journal: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy
      • Volume: 31
      • Issue: 3
      • Pages: 428-443
      • Publisher: Pion Ltd.
      • Publication type: Article
      • Bibliographic status: Published

      Keywords: China, ageing, health-care costs, institutional support, family practices, industrial change


      Professor Rose Gilroy
      Professor of Ageing, Policy & Planning and Director of Engagement