Staying Close or Leading an Independent Life: A study of how older Hong Kong migrants in Britain handle their care needs and relationships with their Britain-based and overseas families

  • YU, Wai Kam (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This study aims to explore the strategies used by older Hong Kong migrants in Britain in handling their care needs and maintaining relationship with their families in Britain and their place of origin. It is built on the PI’s previous work on the concepts of familisation and defamilisation; and culturally sensitive policy and practice for Chinese older people in Britain. The main focuses are: 1) strategies used by older Hong Kong migrants in Britain in maintaining relationship with their Britain-based and overseas families; 2) how such strategies are related to their reliance on the family, the state and the market for the care and support they need; and 3) how such strategies are related to the intergenerational and transnational division of caring and financial responsibilities in their families. The study will draw references from four areas of theoretical debate: defamilisation and familisation, decommodification and commodification, intergenerational division of labour in the family, and culturally sensitive policy and practice. The study will take two stages and be conducted in three cities in Britain (London, Manchester and Sheffield) and Hong Kong. It will explore the views of both older Hong Kong migrants and their families in Britain and Hong Kong. In the first stage, 80 older people in the three British cities with family connections in Hong Kong and of a variety of personal characteristics will be recruited through purposive sampling procedures to attend a semi-structured interview. Respondents will be asked to share their migration history, care arrangements, support networks and connections with their local and overseas families. In the second stage, snowball sampling procedures will be used to recruit 10 family members of the respondents in Britain and 10 overseas family members in Hong Kong to attend a semi-structured interview to provide their views on the issues concerned. A thematic approach will be adopted to analyse the interview data with the aid of Maxqda. The study will enhance the understanding of transnational family relationships by disentangling some complex patterns concerning caring arrangements of older migrants and exploring how policy and practice can be more responsive to their needs and preferences. It will also contribute to the theoretical debate of different types of defamilisation, their relationship with decommodification in the labour and product spheres and how these concepts could be used to analyse models of family division of labour in care and finance.
Effective start/end date1/01/1830/06/20

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education


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