ERIC Number: ED254466
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jun-15
Reference Count: 0
"Heart" and Self in Old Age: A Chinese Model.
The relationship between Chinese-Americans and their elderly parents is examined in the context of the Chinese concept of "heart." The Chinese word "heart" expresses a concept central to the dynamics of family transactions and especially to the relationship of elderly parents to adult children. Chinese culture is not a physically or verbally demonstrative one. Caring is often expressed by transactions whose meaning goes beyond the presentation of the gift. "Heart" means to be thinking about the other person, to be willing to provide, and to anticipate desires rather than wait for requests. This study focuses on such transactions between parents and children in 22 Chinese American families living in the Boston area. It covers an 18-month period. Children who had been financially provided for were now expected to show "heart" by providing for their parents. Not all were equally willing to do so. Some withheld support or moved away as a way of expressing their independence. Differences were found both within and between families as they adpated to a new culture. Change was also evident in an increasing reliance on daughters as well as on sons. (IS)
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bernard Van Leer Foundation, The Hague (Netherlands).
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Graduate School of Education.
Note: Paper from the Project on Human Potential. For other project papers, see SO 016 244-270.