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Youqin Hang – Families in Transition: Living Arrangements, Intergenerational Support, and  Subjective Wellbeing in 21st Century China

November 14, 2022 @ 8:30 pm 10:00 pm

Speaker: Youqin Huang, Professor of Geography and Planning, Research Associate of the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis, University at Albany, State University of New York

This paper examines whether the Chinese family is undergoing a Western process of modernization and an associated reduction in previously very high rate of parent-adult child co-residence, and how this change in living arrangement affects subjective wellbeing. Using the China Household Finance Survey, this study reveals that only two decades into the 21st century, co-residence in China is as low as, if not lower than that in the West.  Instead, living apart in proximity in the same city has replaced co-residence as the most prevalent living arrangement.  This shift to proximity is a result of the negotiations between traditional and modernizing tendencies and is further enabled by significantly improved housing and household financial conditions.  This is in contrast to an emerging trend of moving back to parents’ house in the West due to rising housing cost.  Furthermore, living apart in proximity, together with strong inter-generational support, has a significant positive effect on subjective wellbeing.  We conclude that even as China continues its progress in modernization and market transition, strong intergenerational connections based on Confucian values continue to persist, although with some modern twists, which promotes wellbeing.

Dr. Youqin Huang is a Professor of Geography and Planning and a Research Associate of the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis at University at Albany, State University of New York.  Her research aims to understand the impact of major socioeconomic transformations and government policies, focusing on housing, migration, health, and wellbeing. She is the (co-)author/(co-)editor of ten books/edited volumes and has published papers in leading journals in geography, China, urban studies, and housing, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, The China Quarterly, Urban Studies, Housing Studies, as well as Environment and Planning A, and B.

Zoom meeting link: https://harvard.zoom.us/j/96217779608


November 14, 2022
8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


Presented via Zoom

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