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Filial Piety and Intergenerational Co-residence: The Case of Chinese Singaporeans

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The concept of filial piety is not static and is subject to interpretations. The concept of filial piety also has evolved over time and adapted to local cultures. In this paper, we examine the practices of filial piety among Chinese Singaporeans. Using in-depth interviews collected in 2006 and 2007, we find that the idea of filial piety still resonates among Chinese Singaporeans, though in some cases it may merely be symbolic. While intergenerational co-residence is not the only way for children to demonstrate their filial piety, most participants view it as the epitome. However, filial piety, as demonstrated through intergenerational co-residence, may be hiding other issues that are detrimental to the quality of life for all parties. Nonetheless, positive intergenerational relationships bind the family together.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Gettysburg College and Department of History, Gettysburg College


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