The ecological theory of cultural change suggests that socioeconomic development enhances individualism and weakens collectivism. Yet, collectivism in terms of childcare arrangements seems to persist in rapidly transforming China. It is possible that Confucian ideals and rural to urban migration promoted kin-based cooperation and enhanced collectivism. To explore such possibilities, forty-five caregivers of two generations from an ethnic village located in the Southwest of China were invited to share their childcare arrangements, priorities, and histories. Iterative thematic analyses revealed that improved life quality allowed caregivers the time and resources to attend to children’s personal well-being, whilst socioeconomic potentials and limitations pressured caregivers to cooperate for children’s developments. Emphases on psychological autonomy and relatedness, and material relatedness all increased. Further, regardless of migrant status, grandparents (n = 24) and parents (n = 21) readily agreed on childcare cooperation for supporting their children’s education and future mobility. Traditional virtues, such as filial piety, endurance, and sacrifice, fostered caregivers’ reciprocal and kin altruism, proposing the involvement of morality in explaining cultural orientations and changes.
Jiang, X. (2022). How collective childcare arrangements are sustained in rural China during socioeconomic transformation. In M. Klicperova-Baker & W. Friedlmeier (Eds.), Xenophobia vs. Patriotism: Where is my Home? Proceedings from the 25th Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, 296. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/iaccp_papers/296