Elder Care, Gender, and Son Preference: The Role of Cultural Transmission and Diffusion During the Process of Rural-urban Migration in China


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Shuzhuo Li

This study examines the relationship between gender and intergenerational transfer among rural-urban migrants and how it is affected by urban culture, specifically the impact on the provision of daily care and emotional well-being of the elderly. Using a sample from the city of Shenzhen (whose population has grown from 20,000 to 5 million in 25 years), researchers will analyze the impact of caregivers' out-migration from rural areas to urban areas on intergenerational relationships in rural areas and the social implications for aging. Also the mode of behavioral diffusion among migrants and their interaction with urban residents will be identified. The study will document the impact of cultural diffusion and transmission of preferences and behaviors in urban areas on son preference, as well as the demographic implications for sex rationing at birth and marriage. Finally, gender variation in attitudes and behaviors among migrants will be investigated.

This study is a seed project for the Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging.