1.School of Sociology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology;2.Research Center for Social Governance Innovation, College of Humanities and Law, Henan Agricultural University;3.Institute for Population and Development Studies, School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi’an Jiaotong University
Base on the data from the China Longitudinal Ageing Social Survey conducted in 2014, using Latent Class Analysis, this study analyzed the urban-rural differences in the types of intergenerational relations from a whole family perspective. We found three types of intergenerational relations: tight-knit, support but distant, and detached. Among these types, the first two accounted for a larger proportion, and the last accounted for a small proportion, which revealed that the intergenerational relations of Chinese families are still dominated by solidarity. The common characteristic of the three types was that children have provided with high-frequency financial and emotional support for parents, and the discordant parts in the type of “support but distant” and “detached” are both caused by the space barrier between generations, which indicated that families still maintain the function of old-age support, but accompanied with the obvious feature of geographical distant between generations. The relationship types have significant urban-rural differences, urban areas dominated by the type of tight-knit, and rural areas dominated by the type of support but distant, which reflected the background of population migration in China. The types of intergenerational relations in urban and rural areas both embodied the model of corporate group between generations, that is, intergenerational support always flows to the relatively vulnerable family members. Our results showed that the disabled or oldest old are unlikely to form the detached structure with their children. The types of intergenerational relations in rural areas highlighted the model of power and bargaining between generations, that is the old adult with more resources are more likely to get support and attention from their children. We found that urban older adults with higher incomes can help them form a tight-knit structure with their children.