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The Binding TieChinese Intergenerational Relations in Modern Singapore$
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Kristina Göransson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832599

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832599.001.0001

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Binding Ties

Binding Ties

(p.84) 4 Binding Ties
The Binding Tie

Kristina Göransson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines ways in which intergenerational relations are maintained and reaffirmed. It begins by discussing how the Singapore government uses notions of traditional family values to implement strategies aimed at adjusting Singapore to the global economy. It shows that government's anti-welfare policy has a consolidating effect on intergenerational relations in the sense that parents and children must depend on each other for economic and practical support. Moreover, the government's profamily ideology reinforces preconceived ideas of Asian family values and consequently pressures people to live up to the ideal of a cohesive family life. While the role of the state and the political economy are crucial for explaining the continuity of the intergenerational contract, the ways in which intergenerational obligations and expectations operate are culturally constructed. The second part of the chapter focuses on how the Chinese intergenerational contract is interpreted and practiced in everyday life.

Keywords:   Singapore, intergenerational relations, Asian family values, Singaporean family, anti-welfare policy, intergenerational contract

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