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Weiqu, structural injustice and caring for sick older people in rural Chinese families: An empirical ethical study

This paper examines caregiving for sick older family members in the context of socio‐economic transformations in rural China, combining empirical investigation with normative inquiry. The empirical part of this paper is based on a case study, taken from fieldwork in a rural Chinese hospital, of a son who took care of his hospitalized mother. This empirical study highlighted family members' weiqu (sense of unfairness)—a mental status from experiencing mistreatment and oppression in family care, yet with constrained power to explicitly protest or make care‐related choices. Underpinning people's weiqu and constrained choice, as informed by the conception of structural injustice, is the impact of unjust social structures, organized by unfavourable norms, discriminatory social policies and institutions targeting rural populations. By restraining individual choices and capacities in supporting health care for aging populations, these unjust structures create additional difficulties for and discriminations against rural families and their older members. Some policy recommendations are proposed to mitigate structural injustice so as to empower families and promote care for older people in rural settings.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
ISBN/ISSN
0269-9702
Publication Year
2020
Issue Number
6 Suppl 2
Journal Titles
Bioethics
Volume Number
34
Start Page
593
End Page
601