If modernisation means mass longevity, it raises hopes that everyone may enjoy a full span of years. It also brings the fear that many will not be able to take care of themselves and will rely upon society to provide special care. Modernisation in this sense also means the rise of the welfare state: let the government take care of the frail and the old.Mass aging has proven to be a financial crisis for welfare states in the advanced economies of the West; it also raises questions about the future of family-based care in the East while professionals and academicians in the advanced economies of the West continue to debate about whose responsibility it is to take care of the elders (the state or the individual?), governments in East Asia hold firmly to the position that it is the family that has the primary responsibility to take care of old members, and that the government's role is to assist families in discharging elder care responsibilities.This publication examines some of the often-raised questions identified in the research literature in the past 25 years — for example, the nature and scope of caregiving, the issue of care burden, and the claim that family-based care is really women care that is sex-biased. The author marshals evidence to show from studies conducted in China that care burden is a complex form of social relations that is shaped by the culture. Furthermore, the gender and type of relations may largely determine in what type of kin relations are the subjective feelings of burden the greatest and where objective indications of burden may remain constant. In conclusion, the author suggests that the best common resolution for both the East and the West is to establish a workable partnership between the state and the family in facing the forthcoming crisis of elder care in a fully aged society.Contents:What is Old Age Care?Problems of Explaining Caregiving BurdenWestern Welfare State Policy of Elder Care: An EntitlementModernity and BureaucracyThe Need for Primary Group Informal-Care and SupportThe Family is a Non-Substitutable Primary GroupFamily Change and the Problem of Elder CareFamily-Centered Care is Unfair to WomenThe Sociological Perspective on Institutional Characteristics and Types of CareThe Question of Relative Burden in CaregivingTowards Theoretic Framework in Research DesignCultural Values, Kinship Structure and Caregiving RelationsChina's Current Impending Ageing CrisisThe Social Value Base of China's Elder Care PolicyThe Erosion of Filial Piety as the Basis of Elder Care in China, Any Evidence?Evidence One: Increase of Multi-Generation HouseholdsMale Offspring Reported Caregiving Burden as Indication of Filial PietyData from Shanghai Epidemiological ResearchFamilial Position, Gender, and Sense of Expected Filial Duty on Care BurdenThe Result of Data AnalysisConcluding RemarksChina's Social Values and Long Term Approach to the ProblemReadership: General.

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