Long-distance Filial Piety: Chinese Families in Australasia Caring for Elderly Parents across Borders (長距離的孝道:紐西蘭與澳洲華人家庭的跨國父母照顧)

in Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
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In this age of transnational migration, family structures and relationships are transformed as a result of family members living in two or more countries. Over the past three decades, the international migration of Chinese from East Asia to Australia and New Zealand is an example of the global phenomenon of transnationalism, where families employ bi- or multi-local strategies to meet the needs of family members at different stages of their life cycle. Despite this growing trend towards transnationalism, the care of older people in transnational settings has received little attention in studies on migration, transnationalism and care. Older members are in need of help and care when their children and other younger relatives change residence to other countries. In the case of older people who have followed their adult children to live in another country, the need for help and care can arise or increase when the health of the older migrants deteriorates, often making it necessary for other overseas family members to go between countries for the care of their elderly relatives.

This paper is based on 80 in-depth interviews with Chinese families in Australia and New Zealand where adult children are providing care to their aged parents living in Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong sar. The study explores the transnational care-givers’ attitudes towards filial piety, and how filial responsibilities are performed through transnational care-giving. The findings offer insight into the ageing experience of elderly Chinese people in transnational contexts, and stimulates new thinking on broader issues of global human mobility and transnational aged care amongst contemporary Chinese families.

隨著全球化與跨國移民的興起,家庭結構與家庭關係因家庭成員分散在不同國家而改變,東亞華人因為移民紐西蘭與澳洲而影響家庭結構並改變家庭關係就是一個例子。過去三十年東亞華人移民到紐西蘭及澳洲的數量大幅增加,家庭成員運用雙方或多方的在地策略,來滿足他們在不同生命階段中的需求;雖然跨國主義普遍發生於各國,但相關長者照顧的研究並未受到重視。當年輕子女離家後,年長父母隨著健康的惡化,生活協助與健康照顧的需求跟著產生,有些父母會隨著子女移往移民國,有些則留在當地由其他親友或移民子女來回奔波照顧。

本研究透過深入訪談八十位居住澳洲與紐西蘭的台灣、香港及大陸移民,了解他們如何照顧居住在母國的年長父母。研究探索了跨國照顧者對孝道的看法,以及如何透過跨國照顧來盡孝道。研究結果從跨國移民脈絡中爬梳華人長者的老化經驗,擴展當代全球華人移動議題的討論視野並為跨國長者照顧議題注入新的看法。 (This article is in English).

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1

Ronald Skeldon, Reluctant Exiles? Migration from Hong Kong and the New Overseas Chinese (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1994), 11; Zlatko Skrbis, “Transnational Families: Theorizing Migration, Emotion, and Belonging,” Journal of Intercultural Studies 29, 3 (2008): 231–246.

3

Steven Vertovec, Transnationalism (New York: Routledge, 2009).

4

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5

Joanna Derby, “Children and Power in Mexican Transnational Families,” Journal of Marriage and Family 69, 4 (2007): 1050–1064; Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Emestine Avila, “‘I’m Here, but I’m There’: The Meanings of Latino Transnational Motherhood,” Gender and Society 11, 5 (1997): 548–571; Rhacel Parrenas, “Long Distance Intimacy: Class, Gender and Intergenerational Relations Between Mothers and Children in Filipino Transnational Families,” Global Networks 5, 4 (2005): 317–336.

6

Lan-Hung N. Chiang, “Immigrant Taiwanese Women in the Process of Adapting to Life in Australia: Case Studies From Transnational Households,” in Experiences of Transnational Chinese Migrants in the Asia-Pacific, ed. David Ip, Raymond Hibbins and Wing Hong Chui (New York: Nova Publishers, 2006), 69–86; Lan-Hung N. Chiang and Chih-Hsiang Yang, “Learning to be Australian: Adaptation and Identity Formation of Young Taiwanese-Chinese Immigrants in Melbourne, Australia,” Pacific Affairs 81, 2 (2008): 241–258; Elsie S. Ho, “Multi-local Residence, Transnational Networks: Chinese ‘Astronaut’ Families in New Zealand,” Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 11, 1 (2002): 145–164; Shirlena Huang and Brenda Yeoh, “Transnational Families and Their Children’s Education: China’s ‘Study Mothers’ in Singapore,” Global Networks 5, 4 (2005): 379–400; Johanna L. Waters, “Flexible Families? ‘Astronaut’ Households and the Experiences of Lone Mothers in Vancouver, British Columbia,” Social & Cultural Geography 3, 2 (2002): 117–134; Johanna L. Waters, “Transnational Family Strategies and Education in the Contemporary Chinese Diaspora,” Global Networks 5, 4 (2005): 359–377.

7

Johanna L. Waters, “Becoming a Father, Missing a Wife: Chinese Transnational Families and the Male Experience of Lone Parenting in Canada,” Population, Space and Place 16, 1 (2010): 63–74.

8

Wei W. Da, “Transnational Grandparenting: Child Care Arrangements among Migrants from the People’s Republic of China to Australia,” Journal of International Migration and Integration 4, 1 (2003): 79–103; Laura Sigad and Rivka A Eisikovits, “Grandparenting across Borders: American Grandparents and their Israeli Grandchildren in a Transnational ­Reality,” Journal of Aging Studies 27 (2013): 308–316; Anita S.K. Wong and ­Elsie S. Ho, “Transnational Childcare Among Chinese Families in New Zealand,” in Social ­Environment, Migration, and Health: Proceedings of the 5th International Asian and Ethnic ­Minority Health and Wellbeing Conference, June 27–28, ed. by Amritha Sobrun-Maharaj et al. (Auckland: University of Auckland, 2012), 46–55.

9

Loretta Baldassar, “Transnational Families and Aged Care: The Mobility of Care and the Migrancy of Ageing,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 33, 2 (2007): 275–297; Cora V. Baldock, “Migrants and their Parents: Caregiving from a Distance,” Journal of Family Issues 21, 2 (2000): 205–224; Magdalene D. Gorfinkiel and Angeles Escriva, “Care of Older People in Migration Contexts: Local and Transnational Arrangement between Peru and Spain,” Social Politics 19, 1 (2012): 129–141; Raelene Wilding, “‘Virtual’ Intimacies? Families Communicating across Transnational Contexts,” Global Networks 6, 2 (2006): 125–142.

11

Manying Ip, Transmigration and the New Chinese: Theories and Practices from the New Zealand Experience (Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong, 2011); David Ip, Raymond Hibbins and Wing Hong Chui, Experiences of Transnational Chinese Migrants in the Asia-Pacific (New York: Nova Publishers, 2006); Janet W. Salaff, Siu-lun Wong and Arent Greve, Hong Kong Movers and Stayers: Narratives of Family Migration (Urbana and Chicago, il: University of Illinois Press, 2010).

13

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15

Lia Bryant and Suzane Lim, “Australian Chinese Families Caring for Elderly Relatives,” Aging and Society (2006): 1–21; Lenny Chiang-Hansiko, “Paradise Lost: How Older Adult Taiwanese Immigrants Make Decisions About Their Living Arrangements,” Journal of Cultural Diversity 17 (2010): 99–104; David Ip, Chi Wai Lui and Wing Hong Chui, “Veiled Entrapment: A Study Of Social Isolation of Older Chinese Migrants in Brisbane, Queensland,” Aging and Society 27 (2007): 719–738; Hsueh Fen Kao and Alexa K. Stuifbergen, “Family Experiences Related to the Decision to Institutionalize an Elderly Member in Taiwan: An Exploratory Study,” Social Science & Medicine 49, 8 (1999): 1115–1123; Elaine Y.L. Tsang, Pranee Liampuhong and Jane Pierson, “The Views of Older Chinese People in Melbourne About Their Quality of Life,” Ageing & Society 24 (2004): 51–74.

16

Xiaodong Yue and Sik Hung Ng, “Filial Obligations and Expectations in China: Current Views From Young and Old People in Beijing,” Asian Journal of Social Psychology 2, 2 (1999): 215–226.

17

Brian Murphy, The Other Australia: Experiences of Migration (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1993); James Ng, Chinese Settlement in New Zealand: Past and Present ­(Dunedin, New Zealand: Amity Centre Publishing Project, 2001).

18

Wendy Li and Kassandra Jackson, “Chinese migration and families in Australia: Integration and challenges,” in Chinese Migration and Families-At-Risk, ed. Ko Ling Chan ­(Newcastle Upon Tyne, uk: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), 214–239.

19

James Ng, Windows on a Chinese Past, Volume 1: How the Cantonese Goldseekers and Their Heirs Settled in New Zealand (Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago Heritage Books, 1993).

20

Christine Inglis, “Chinese in Australia,” International Migration Review 6 (1972): 266–281; Manying Ip, “Chinese New Zealanders: Old Settlers and New Immigrants,” in Immigration and National Identity in New Zealand: One People, Two Peoples, Many Peoples?, ed. Stuart W. Greif (Palmerston North, New Zealand: Dunmore, 1995), 161–199.

21

Chi Wai Lui, “Transnational Chinese Migration: An Australian Profile,” in Experiences of transnational Chinese migrants in the Asia-Pacific, ed. David Ip, Raymond Hibbins and Wing Hong Chui (New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2006), 17–39; Lloyd Wong, “Chinese Business Migration to Australia, Canada and the United States: Some Policy and the Global Immigration Marketplace,” Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 12, 3 (2003): 301–336.

22

Li and Jackson, “Chinese Migration and Families in Australia,” 214–239; Laurance Ma, “Space, Place and Transnationalism in the Chinese Diaspora,” in The Chinese Diaspora: Space Place, Mobility, and Identity, ed. Laurence J.C. Ma and Carolyn L. Cartier (Oxford, uk: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003), 1–50.

25

Ho and Chiang, “Translocal Families,” 232–258.

26

Elsie S. Ho and Ruth Farmer, “The Hong Kong Chinese in Auckland,” in Reluctant Exiles? Migration from Hong Kong and the New Overseas Chinese, ed. Ronald Skeldon (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1994), 215–234; Christine Inglis and Chung-Tong Wu, “The ‘New’ Migration of Asian Skills and Capital to Australia,” in Asians in Australia: The Dynamics of Migration and Settlement, ed. Christine Inglis, S. Gunasekaran, Gerard Sullivan & Chung-Tong Wu (St. Leonards, nsw: Allen and Unwin, 1992), 193–230.

27

Elsie S. Ho, “Reluctant Exiles or Roaming Transnationals?: The Hong Kong Chinese in New Zealand,” in Unfolding History, Evolving Identity: The Chinese in New Zealand, ed. Manying Ip (Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press, 2003), 165–184; Sally S. Liu, “New Zealand Case Study of prc Transnational Migration: Returnees and Trans-Tasman ­Migrants,” in Transmigration and the New Chinese: Theories and Practices from the New Zealand Experience, ed. Manying Ip (Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong, 2011), 57–101.

29

Ibid.; Lui, “Transnational Chinese Migration,” 17–39.

31

Lan-Hung N. Chiang, “Middle-class Taiwanese Immigrant Women Adapt to Life in Australia: Case Studies From Transnational Households,” Asian Journal for Women Studies 10, 4 (2004): 31–57; Lan-Hung N. Chiang and Jung-chung Hsu, “Taiwanese in Australia: Two Decades of Settlement Experiences,” Geography Research Forum 26 (2006): 32–60; ­Lan-Hung N. Chiang, “‘Astronaut Families’: Transnational Lives of Middle Class Taiwanese Married Women in Canada,” Social & Cultural Geography 9, 5 (2008): 505–518; Lan-Hung N. Chiang, “Staying or Leaving: Taiwanese-Chinese Making their Homes in New Zealand,” in Transmigration and the New Chinese: Theories and Practices from the New Zealand Experience, ed. Manying Ip (Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong, 2011), 102–139; Ho, “Chinese ‘Astronaut’ Families in New Zealand,” 145–164; Ho, “The Hong Kong Chinese in New Zealand,” 165–184; Rogelia Pe-Pua, Colleen Mitchell, Robyn Iredale and Stephen Castles, Astronaut Families and Parachute Children. The Cycle of Migration between Hong Kong and Australia (Wollongong, Australia: Centre for Multicultural Studies, University of Wollongong, 1996); Skeldon, “Reluctant Exiles?”; Janet Salaff et al., “Hong Kong Movers and Stayers.”

32

Elsie S. Ho, “Chinese ‘Astronaut’ Families in New Zealand: Evidence from Census Data,” in Chinese Overseas: Migration, Research and Documentation, ed. Chee-Beng Tan, Colin C. Storey and Julia Zimmerman (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2007), 119–138; Elsie S. Ho, Joanna Lewin and Queenie Ip, “On the Move: Subsequent Migration Trajectories of Hong Kong Chinese Families to New Zealand,” in Transmigration and the New Chinese: Theories and Practices from the New Zealand Experience, ed. Manying Ip (Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong, 2011), 138–162; Manying Ip, “Returnees and Transnationals: Evolving Identities of Chinese (prc) Immigrants in New Zealand,” Journal of Population Studies 33 (2006): 61–102; Lui, “Transnational Chinese migration,” 17–39.

34

Stan Stevens, “Fieldwork as Commitment,” The Geographical Review 91, 1–2 (2001): 66–73.

35

Chiang, “Middle-class Taiwanese Immigrant Women,” 31–57; Chiang and Hsu, “Taiwanese in Australia,” 32–60.

36

Ho and Chiang, “Translocal Families,” 232–258.

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