Beyond Filial Piety: Rethinking Aging and Caregiving in Contemporary East Asian Societies | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Beyond Filial Piety: Rethinking Aging and Caregiving in Contemporary East Asian Societies

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Volume 6

Life Course, Culture and Aging: Global Transformations

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Beyond Filial Piety

Rethinking Aging and Caregiving in Contemporary East Asian Societies

Edited by Jeanne Shea, Katrina Moore and Hong Zhang

432 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-788-0 $149.00/£110.00 / Hb / Published (July 2020)

ISBN  978-1-80073-447-0 $39.95/£31.95 / Pb / Published (April 2022)

eISBN 978-1-78920-789-7 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This volume is an extensive collection of ethnographies and qualitative studies…the collection successfully challenges the popular and academic romanticization of filial piety and caregiving in the East and also contributes to revealing the ways in which elders, families, and communities can reimagine traditional cultural values and actively respond to population aging. For this reason, I would recommend it to students, researchers, and practitioners in many fields, including East-Asian studies, social research on kinship and caregiving, anthropology of morality and ethics, anthropology, and gerontology.” • Anthropology and Aging

“This is a fascinating book which inspires us with new insights and deep thoughts. Through the description of the subjective practice of caregiving and the discourse of positive aging, the book has in fact come back to the essence of filial piety, focusing on subjectivity, dignity, love, responsibility, harmony and continuity in families, communities and the state, which is beyond social transformations and challenges of time.” • Asian Journal of Social Studies

“[This] is a highly commendable work of scholarship with wide appeal that will be an essential resource for anyone interested in the dynamic field of aging and care in East Asia. I learned a lot and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in East Asian society.” • Jason Danely, Oxford Brookes University

“This is an excellent volume that is particularly timely given the significant demographic challenges that East Asian societies are facing related to population aging and population decline. It is an outstanding collection by a group of excellent scholars.” • John Traphagan, University of Texas

“The editors describe their manuscript as in dialogue with my 2004 volume on filial piety. Much more than just a timely update, this is an excellent book” • Charlotte Ikels, Case Western Reserve University


Known for a tradition of Confucian filial piety, East Asian societies have some of the oldest and most rapidly aging populations on earth. Today these societies are experiencing unprecedented social challenges to the filial tradition of adult children caring for aging parents at home. Marshalling mixed methods data, this volume explores the complexities of aging and caregiving in contemporary East Asia. Questioning romantic visions of a senior’s paradise, chapters examine emerging cultural meanings of and social responses to population aging, including caregiving both for and by the elderly. Themes include traditional ideals versus contemporary realities, the role of the state, patterns of familial and non-familial care, social stratification, and intersections of caregiving and death. Drawing on ethnographic, demographic, policy, archival, and media data, the authors trace both common patterns and diverging trends across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and Korea.

Jeanne Shea is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Health and Society Program and the Global Health Concentration in Anthropology at the University of Vermont. Recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award, she has published her research in many scholarly journals and edited volumes.

Katrina Moore is Honorary Associate in Japanese Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the University of Sydney.

Hong Zhang is Associate Professor of East Asian Studies at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She is the recipient of many research grants, including a Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award and Freeman Foundation grants and has published in numerous edited volumes and journals.

Subject: Anthropology (General)Sociology
Area: Asia-Pacific


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