The Impact of Modernization and Globalization on the Perception of Chinese Elderly towards their Image and Status

By Xue Bai and Nelson Chow.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As China develops, it becomes a member of the global world. While the positive aspects of modernization and globalization, such as greater affluence and higher living standard for the people, have often been stressed, few attempts have been made to look at the negative ones. This paper represents such an attempt. Based on a study conducted in the Wuhan city of China, it reports how the Chinese elderly have been affected by the twin processes of modernization and globalization. While the Chinese elderly have benefitted from the developments in the last three decades, with a stark improvement in their living standard, they have also been experiencing a lowering of their elevated positions, a loss in their traditional roles and statuses, and a feeling of inferiority in adapting to a technological advanced society as compared with the younger generations. In short, their image has been tarnished and the age-long tradition of respecting the old in China is now in doubt. While there is no short cut to improving the image of the Chinese elderly, our findings would help better understand both the positive and the negative impacts that modernization and globalization have on their lives.

Keywords: Modernization, Image and Status of Elderly, Ageing in China, Urban and Rural Differences

Global Studies Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.43-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 646.698KB).

Xue Bai

Ph.D Candidate, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

I am a current Ph.D year three student holding the ‘Postgraduate Studentship’ in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. With the supervision of Professor Nelson Chow, my research interest is mainly on the welfare of elderly in this modern and globalized era. During the past three years, I have participated in a few projects either as a research assistant or a group leader. Meanwhile, to make more people informed of our research findings, I have also attended lots of local and international conferences, such as the ‘International Conference on e-Commerce, e-Administration, e-Society, e-Education, and e-Technology’ held in Macau between Jan.25-27 in 2010; the ‘International Forum on Ageing in Place and Age Friendly Cities’ held in Akita, Japan between Oct. 10-11, 2009; ‘19th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics’ held in Paris, France between July.5-9, 2009, just to name a few.

Prof. Nelson Chow

Chair Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration,, The University of Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China


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