2012 Student-Faculty Program: Colby College

Mentor:  Hong Zhang, Department of East Asian Studies
Students: Petya Andreeva, ’13, Bette Ha, ’14, Eliza Laamoon, ’13, Fiona Masland, ’12, Jennifer Tsang, ’13

“Redefining Old Age and Eldercare: Stories from China”

Because the combined impact of China’s one-child policy, population mobility, accelerated urbanization, longer life expectancy, and the transition to a market economy and consumer-oriented society have presented unprecedented challenges to traditional family care for the aged in China and have fueled worries over whether China is ready for the coming “silver tsunami”, this research team plans to work jointly to document changes in eldercare and old age experiences in urban (Beijing and Shanghai) and rural (Huanshan Township in Zhejiang Province and Feixiang County in Hebei Province) China. Each student will focus on different issues related to this study. The titles of their research are “Aging in Place: Developing Community-Based and At-Home Eldercare Models with Chinese Characteristics” (Andreeva); “Left Behind but Not Alone: Agency, Self-Sufficiency and New Eldercare Patterns in Rural China” (Ha); “Waltzing into Old Age: Active and Peer Aging in Urban Parks and Community Centers” (Laamoon); “Social Innovation and Service Delivery for the Elderly: ‘Partnership’ between Government and NGOs”(Masland); and “Redefining Filial Piety: Changing Attitudes toward Institutional Care” (Tsang).