File Download
  Links for fulltext
     (May Require Subscription)
Supplementary

postgraduate thesis: The purchase of intimacy : Chinese urban one-child families in housing consumption

TitleThe purchase of intimacy : Chinese urban one-child families in housing consumption
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Ho, PSY
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Zhong, X. [钟晓慧]. (2014). The purchase of intimacy : Chinese urban one-child families in housing consumption. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5270557
AbstractThis study examines the changes of family life and relationships in urban China with reference to the filial piety and intimacy theories as well as the individualization thesis. It takes housing consumption as an entry point and focuses on the intergenerational relations in one-child families. It adopts qualitative research methods to explore consumption practices and the meanings attached to these actions and events for these families. I conducted in-depth interviews with 22 families (middle-aged parents and/or adult children) and ethnographic observation in Guangzhou during the period of 2010 and 2011. This study examines the meanings attached to housing consumption from the perspective of these urban families. It shows how parents use money to express their love/care and to define their children’s filial obligations. It also demonstrates how parents use their grey money to secure a better future for both generations. It also illustrates the process of consumption to show differentiated family strategies for achieving collective well-being. It also presents their power dynamics and varied ways that parents and children negotiate and handle conflicts for individual goals. It examines the specific socioeconomic context regarding numerous risks and abundant opportunities that are faced by these families. This study thereby enables us to see more clearly the interactions between the state, the market and family dynamics in modern China. It is argued that urban Chinese parents who play an active and leading role in housing consumption use their money to purchase intimacy with only children. Their desires are socially constructed by their life experiences since the Mao era and by their children’s struggles in a marketized economy. Thus this study challenges the victimized image of Chinese parents and refines the over-simplified exchange logic of parental investment in the market economy. Their desires and agency as middle-aged people with only children in a rapid socioeconomic transformation have to be addressed. It notes the rise of new filial individuals among only children in the individualization of Chinese society. They are not the uncivil individuals as portrayed by scholars and the media, but rather the dutiful ones who have a heightened filial sense and also engage in new filial practices. Their ideas of filial piety are less about life-debt (due to parents’ giving them life and raising them up), obedience (to parents) and moral obligations. It is more about money-debt (due to parental investment in housing and other financing projects), exchange of material assistance and emotional bonds. This study thus helps develop a new way of understanding filial piety among young Chinese and reconsider the impacts of individualization on family relations and on the younger generation. The study shows a visible trend of refamiliation with cooperation, conflicts and negotiations involved. By stressing the necessity of collective decision-making between this two-generation collective in housing consumption, these parents and children are building up a negotiable intimacy that reconfirms the vital importance of family intimacy over conjugal intimacy. It thus develops a new model of exploring housing consumption in urban China and helps redefine the Western concept of intimacy.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectIntergenerational relations - China
House buying - China
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206671

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorHo, PSY-
dc.contributor.authorZhong, Xiaohui-
dc.contributor.author钟晓慧-
dc.date.accessioned2014-11-25T03:53:15Z-
dc.date.available2014-11-25T03:53:15Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationZhong, X. [钟晓慧]. (2014). The purchase of intimacy : Chinese urban one-child families in housing consumption. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5270557-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206671-
dc.description.abstractThis study examines the changes of family life and relationships in urban China with reference to the filial piety and intimacy theories as well as the individualization thesis. It takes housing consumption as an entry point and focuses on the intergenerational relations in one-child families. It adopts qualitative research methods to explore consumption practices and the meanings attached to these actions and events for these families. I conducted in-depth interviews with 22 families (middle-aged parents and/or adult children) and ethnographic observation in Guangzhou during the period of 2010 and 2011. This study examines the meanings attached to housing consumption from the perspective of these urban families. It shows how parents use money to express their love/care and to define their children’s filial obligations. It also demonstrates how parents use their grey money to secure a better future for both generations. It also illustrates the process of consumption to show differentiated family strategies for achieving collective well-being. It also presents their power dynamics and varied ways that parents and children negotiate and handle conflicts for individual goals. It examines the specific socioeconomic context regarding numerous risks and abundant opportunities that are faced by these families. This study thereby enables us to see more clearly the interactions between the state, the market and family dynamics in modern China. It is argued that urban Chinese parents who play an active and leading role in housing consumption use their money to purchase intimacy with only children. Their desires are socially constructed by their life experiences since the Mao era and by their children’s struggles in a marketized economy. Thus this study challenges the victimized image of Chinese parents and refines the over-simplified exchange logic of parental investment in the market economy. Their desires and agency as middle-aged people with only children in a rapid socioeconomic transformation have to be addressed. It notes the rise of new filial individuals among only children in the individualization of Chinese society. They are not the uncivil individuals as portrayed by scholars and the media, but rather the dutiful ones who have a heightened filial sense and also engage in new filial practices. Their ideas of filial piety are less about life-debt (due to parents’ giving them life and raising them up), obedience (to parents) and moral obligations. It is more about money-debt (due to parental investment in housing and other financing projects), exchange of material assistance and emotional bonds. This study thus helps develop a new way of understanding filial piety among young Chinese and reconsider the impacts of individualization on family relations and on the younger generation. The study shows a visible trend of refamiliation with cooperation, conflicts and negotiations involved. By stressing the necessity of collective decision-making between this two-generation collective in housing consumption, these parents and children are building up a negotiable intimacy that reconfirms the vital importance of family intimacy over conjugal intimacy. It thus develops a new model of exploring housing consumption in urban China and helps redefine the Western concept of intimacy.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshIntergenerational relations - China-
dc.subject.lcshHouse buying - China-
dc.titleThe purchase of intimacy : Chinese urban one-child families in housing consumption-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5270557-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5270557-

Export via OAI-PMH Interface in XML Formats


OR


Export to Other Non-XML Formats