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Making transnational intimacies: intergenerational relationships in Chinese-Western families in Beijing
The Journal of Chinese Sociology, Volume: 3, Issue: 1
Swansea University Author: Daniel Nehring
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In this study, we explore intergenerational relationships in Chinese-Western transnational families. Our argument draws on 28 life story interviews with Chinese middle-class professionals and their Western partners in Beijing. In the context of their living arrangements in Beijing, many of these cou...
|Published in:||The Journal of Chinese Sociology|
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In this study, we explore intergenerational relationships in Chinese-Western transnational families. Our argument draws on 28 life story interviews with Chinese middle-class professionals and their Western partners in Beijing. In the context of their living arrangements in Beijing, many of these couples had close ties with their Chinese parents or in-laws, in some cases living together under the same roof. We draw on our participants' interview narratives to ask how their culturally situated, sometimes disparate, understandings of intimacy shaped their relationships with their parents or in-laws. In this context, our analysis focuses on the ways in which our participants negotiated understandings and practices in their families. We conceptualise our participants' transnational families as an individualised intimate space, within which meanings of family, filial piety, and marriage cannot be taken for granted and require an ongoing process of reflexive negotiation to become and remain mutually acceptable. With this study, we seek to add to academic debates about parent-child relationships and filial piety in Chinese society. While there is a sizeable literature on this subject matter, the ways in which the quickly growing number of transnational marriages in China may rework intergenerational relationships remain poorly understood.
Intimate Relationship; Chinese Woman; Chinese Family; Filial Piety; Chinese Parent
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
This publication is a product of a research project (No. 10YJC840071) supported by Ministry of Education, China. This publication is supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Project No. 2012WZD04) and by the China Scholarship Council. This publication is also supported by British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants—SRG 2015-16 Round.