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An alternative discourse of productive aging: A self-restrained approach in older Chinese people in Hong Kong


Luo, Minxia; Chui, Ernest Wing-Tak (2016). An alternative discourse of productive aging: A self-restrained approach in older Chinese people in Hong Kong. Journal of Aging Studies, 38:27-36.

Abstract

While Western discourses regarding productive aging emphasize individuals' contributions to economic productivity, the Confucian cultural heritage of the Chinese community may provide an alternative perspective. This qualitative study explores interpretations of what constitutes productive aging, based on a series of in-depth interviews with older Chinese people in Hong Kong. It shows that some of these individuals adopted a passive and indirect interpretation of productive aging, distinct from that found in Western countries. The Confucianism-based, collectivist, normative order underpinning Hong Kong society disposed these older people to adopting a self-restrained attitude with the aim of avoiding becoming a burden to others, especially family members. Such a tendency toward self-restraint or avoidance also encompassed a compromise between ideals and reality, with the older people opting to compromise their expectations of the younger generation as a whole, their adult children in particular, in terms of respect and reciprocity.

Abstract

While Western discourses regarding productive aging emphasize individuals' contributions to economic productivity, the Confucian cultural heritage of the Chinese community may provide an alternative perspective. This qualitative study explores interpretations of what constitutes productive aging, based on a series of in-depth interviews with older Chinese people in Hong Kong. It shows that some of these individuals adopted a passive and indirect interpretation of productive aging, distinct from that found in Western countries. The Confucianism-based, collectivist, normative order underpinning Hong Kong society disposed these older people to adopting a self-restrained attitude with the aim of avoiding becoming a burden to others, especially family members. Such a tendency toward self-restraint or avoidance also encompassed a compromise between ideals and reality, with the older people opting to compromise their expectations of the younger generation as a whole, their adult children in particular, in terms of respect and reciprocity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Issues, Ethics and Legal Aspects
Health Sciences > Health Policy
Language:English
Date:August 2016
Deposited On:19 Sep 2019 11:16
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 03:40
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0890-4065
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2016.04.002
PubMed ID:27531450

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