Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 127–140 | Cite as

The intersection of class and age: Mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relations in rural Taiwan

  • Rita S. Gallin


This paper compares relations between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law at two points of time in a Taiwanese village which has changed over the past 30 years from an economic system based almost entirely on agriculture to one founded predominantly on off-farm employment. Using ethnographic data, it describes how women's intergenerational relations in contemporary Taiwan both refute and support the notion that Chinese women, who are unquestionably treated as inferiors in their younger years, usually are obeyed, respected, and cared for in their later years. The paper discusses the role of income inequality in this difference and argues that development in Taiwan has not only perpetuated old models but also created new forms of generational inequality.

Key Words

intergenerational relations women China/Taiwan development class 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rita S. Gallin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology Women and International Development Program 202 International CenterMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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