Nils Witte | European Sociological Review
With the life expectancy being steadily increasing, caring for an ageing population presents a paramount challenge in China. The article explores the traditional value of filial piety which is perceived to underpin social norms and beliefs about caring for aged parents. Apart from state and social institutions, a particular regard is given to the reshaping of relationships between aged persons and their family members. Given filial piety being a core value in Chinese cultures, there is a societal interest in protecting a healthy relationship between parents and children in the twenty-first century. In terms of the relational dimensions of current theories, it remains unclear whether an individual rights-based approach would have traction in the Chinese context, or represents an unintended disseverance from the Chinese traditional core values. More critically, a new law requires adult children to visit their elderly parents regularly. With the ongoing attempts to theorize and reconceptualize elder law across jurisdictions, the research further examines emerging legal issues that have arisen in China, and seeks to ascertain the extent to which the law addresses the above inquiry.