Translocal Families: The Challenges of Practicing Filial Piety through Transnational Parental Care (台灣澳洲移民為盡孝道而跨國照顧年長父母的挑戰)

in Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
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The values of filial piety have strongly influenced the care of older people in traditional Chinese societies. Changes in family structure and relationships have occurred and in recent decades, transnational migration has become a factor in how filial piety is perceived and practiced in contemporary translocal Chinese families. Through the use of in-depth interviews, this pilot study explores transnational family patterns, elder care practices, attitudes towards filial piety, and opinions of the medical systems in Taiwan and Australia among 14 Taiwanese families who have lived in Australia for over 20 years. The study finds that despite immigration, filial piety remains an important value for these families. Most participants have/had provided care to their aged parents at the site of immigration and back home, and some of these parents were immigrants who had returned to Taiwan in their old age. Participants generally felt that older people are better looked after in Taiwan than in Australia, as Taiwan has a better healthcare system, and hired caregivers are more readily available. Elders’ expectations of filial piety from their children varied among participants, but all were prepared for a weakening of filiality and ongoing changes in intergenerational relations while living in a Western country.

傳統中國社會的老人照顧,受到孝道價值觀的影響很深。因為家庭結構及成員關係的改變,特別是近三十年來移民國外人口的增加,對當代華人家庭對孝道的認知與實踐產生了新的影響。本研究透過深入訪談居住澳洲二十年以上的台灣移民,探索跨國家庭類型、照顧年長父母的方式、對孝道的看法,以及台灣及澳洲兩地醫療體系的差異。研究發現雖然移民海外,盡孝道仍是重要的家庭價值。大部分的受訪者都曾為長者提供資源或參與照顧,無論是在澳洲或在台灣。年長父母也曾經在成年子女居住澳洲期間前往探視、短期逗留或移民。他們大部分都已回流台灣,原因是在台灣的年長者會得到較好的照顧,台灣的健保制度較適合年長者的需要,而且可以僱用外傭幫忙。已定居澳洲的台灣移民,對孝道的看法雖有差異,但對自己的成年子女是否能在環境不同的西方國家盡孝道,均有所保留。 (This article is in English.)

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Figures

  • Australia: Taiwan-born settler arrivals and permanent departures, 1990–91 to 2010–11 (歷年長期移入及移出澳洲的臺灣移民人口趨勢表,1990至2011).

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  • Australia: age sex structure of Taiwan-born permanent arrivals and departures, 1993–94 to 2012–13.

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  • Australia: age sex structure of Taiwan-born long term arrivals and departures, 1993–94 to 2012–13.

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