Yifan Rice Wang

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Rice U.

Grant number

Gr. 9934

Approve Date

October 25, 2019

Project Title

Wang, Yifan (Rice U.) "Born to age: “Industrializing” eldercare and making aging subjects in China"

YIFAN WANG, then a graduate student at Rice University, Houston, Texas, received funding in October 2019 to aid research on ‘Born to Age: ‘Industrializing’ Eldercare and Making Aging Subjects in China,’ supervised by Dr. James Faubion. This research examines how demographic aging informs life and care work in contemporary China. If China’s over three decades implementation of birth planning policies had sought to contain a crisis of overpopulation, today, the global productivity epicenter is reconceptualizing the crisis as population aging. This sea change has culminated in China’s recent calls to industrialize ( chanyehua ) eldercare in the face of diminishing family-based care provision. Such industrialization is reshaping the eldercare landscape and giving rise to new care ethics, subject positions, and a mushrooming field of service and goods for consumption. To study these new phenomena, the grantee conducted fieldwork at an eldercare company in Nanjing with both marketing and care workers, and at eldercare-themed exhibitions, summits, and forums, both in-person and online. Archival research was also conducted to study the narrative of aging during the socialist period.