Yan Zhang

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Case Western Reserve U.

Grant number

Gr. 9361

Approve Date

October 5, 2016

Project Title

Zhang, Yan, Case Western Reserve U., Cleveland, OH - To aid research on 'Biopolitics of Aging and Caregiving: The Experience of Family Caregiving for Elders with Dementia in Shanghai, China,' supervised by Dr. Lihong Shi

Preliminary abstract: This project aims to understand how the recent sociocultural construction of dementia as a mental disorder and national legislation requiring family support for elders are affecting the experience of family caregiving for elders with dementia in Shanghai, China. Shanghai, as one of the most rapidly aging cities in China, is a good laboratory to study eldercare which affects a huge number of families throughout China. According to the annual report of the Shanghai Research Center on Aging, the number of people aged 60 and above constituted 30.2% of its total population in 2015, which is much higher than the national average (13.3%). Both earlier and recent studies also indicated a higher rate of dementia in Shanghai than other parts of China. The objectives of this study are: 1) to understand the sociocultural construction of dementia as a mental disorder and the legislation of family support for elders; and 2) to understand the social experience of family caregiving for elders with dementia. Methodological and theoretical grounding for this research draws from the biopolitics theory and the practice theory as well as Geertz’s interpretive approach. This study will employ archival data and secondary data research, participant observation, as well as different types of interviews.