Beijing families: The behavior and sentiment of caregiving

Eleanor Holroyd, Ann E. Mackenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The context in which caring and caregiving takes place is dominated by the cultural conditions and social realities of the time. This ethnographic study explored the perceptions and moral determinants of caregiving from the personal accounts of primary caregivers in 10 Beijing families. Analysis generated themes of labor and routines of caregiving, restricted resources, health, and illness, linked by the sentiment of establishing a connection, family time, personal time, gendered time, and reciprocity. For these Beijing families, caregivers accorded and enacted caregiving based on diffuse sentimental and behavioral as well as cultural guidelines drawing on the nature and quality of the relationship, past patterns of exchange, and a clear sense of who was most able to provide care and why. Implications for the provision of health care to families in China are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-364
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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