Challenges to Family Ties in an Asian Global City
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book explores how intergenerational relations among Chinese Singaporeans have changed in tandem with the island-nation's overall societal transformation. The study is concerned with generations both at a societal level (in terms of cultural continuity/discontinuity across generations) and within the family (in terms of intergenerational expectations and obligations). Instead of conceptualizing the societal and familial as separate domains, it treats them as intersecting, by examining how intergenerational expectations and obligations are challenged, reworked, and/or reaffirmed in relation to the extensive societal change of past decades. The remainder of the chapter discusses intergenerational disintegration in contemporary Singapore; the theoretical concept “intergenerational contract”; how the scope, form, and significance of gift relations is engaged with the wider political economy; and previous studies on intergenerational relations in Singapore and other parts of contemporary Asia.
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