Intrigued by Global Care Chain theory and the shifts of elderly care under the national rural-urban migration trend, this study aims to propose the new research direction of the national care chain in China. In the background section, the starting point of Global Care Chain will be followed by the status of elderly care and rural-urban migration contributions in China. Considering methods, this study collects secondary data and designs a survey for quantitative analysis, while conducts interviews for thematic analysis in the case field of Shanghai. The anticipated outcomes section consists of literature implication on China Care Chain, practice implication for elderly care in both rural and urban areas, and policy implication.
Global Care Chain (GCC) focuses on the mechanism of global reproduction, care services internationalisation, and care labour migration (Yeates, 2009). According to Yeates (2009) GCC explores the transnational interconnections and inter-dependencies, involving the flow of workers from developing countries to work as paid elder caregivers in developed nations while leaving their own children and parents behind. Global nursing care chain has been found across the various regions, including North America, Western Europe, and parts of Asia (Yeats, 2009; Bettio et al, 2006; Michel and Peng, 2012). There are similarities underlying these care chains, according to Bettio et al (2006) and Yeats (2009), the reasons why this care chain emerge includes: 1) in input countries: population ageing, decreasing birth rates, increasing labour force participation of women, insufficient market and public care provision for elderly people, increasing needs of caregivers, unwillingness of national workers to undertake care work; 2) to output migrant workers: attractive payment, better working conditions and career prospects, supportive immigration policies. The trend of migrant care workers also puts forward new challenges to both input and output areas. To input areas, as Bettio et al (2006) proposed, optimal mix of elderly care provisions need to ensure efficiency, equity, sustainability and balance between demand and supply of care. To output areas, there are deadly effects on the social-psychological well-being of these migrant workers’ own children and parents, as Yeats (2009) illustrated, those at the bottom of the global nursing chain suffered detrimental effects on elderly care due to migration output. This study concentrates on national labour migration in China, aiming to explore how national rural-urban migration shapes its elderly care provision, whether trans-sectional interconnection and inter-dependencies would take place in elderly care in China.
The rapid ageing, boosting elderly care needs, and increasing input of migrant workers represent in western countries as well as urban areas in China. More than 118 million at or above 65 elderly people represent 8.9% of the total population of China (China Census,...