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2014 Conference Presentation

Informal care Hong KongJapanSouth KoreaTaiwan

2 September 2014

Double responsibilities of care: emerging new social risks of women providing both elderly care and childcare

Junko Yamashita, University of Bristol, United Kingdom


This paper is based on a both international and comparative research project exploring how experiences of emerging female sandwich generations are shaped by policy configuration, social and cultural contexts and their personal/family relationships in East Asia.

The ageing of population, the decrease in average number of siblings and the rising average age of mothers at the time of child bearing, all to suggest that new types of sandwich generations who simultaneously provide care for their frail elderly relatives and young children/grandchildren may increasingly become common in developed countries. East Asian societies are not exceptions as facing with acute demographic and social changes.

Through the comparative analysis of data from questionnaire surveys and semi-structured interviews, this paper will investigate how these sandwich generations experience a double responsibility of care, by analysing resources available to them from local policy configurations and from their personal and kin networks with a specific 40 focus on Japan. We will discuss both theoretical and practical implications of our research on double responsibilities of care, to wider social theory, care policy and practice.

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