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Intergenerational relations in a context of industrial transition: a study of agricultural labor from migrants in Nang Rong, Thailand

Publication Abstract

Piotrowski, Martin. 2008. "Intergenerational relations in a context of industrial transition: a study of agricultural labor from migrants in Nang Rong, Thailand." J Cross Cult Gerontol, 23(1): 17-38.

This work investigates intergenerational relations in a rural setting experiencing the transition from rural subsistence to urban industrial economy. Help with harvesting rice from migrant children to their aging parents is used to illustrate changes that occur. The setting is Nang Rong, Thailand, an agricultural region that has experienced social, economic, and demographic transformations in the last three decades. In Nang Rong, out-migrants are young adults. Their parents, who remain in rural villages, are approaching ages where it becomes difficult to do agricultural labor. The migration of young adults contributes to a loss of household labor which puts pressure on households to meet their basic subsistence needs. Rice harvest help from returning or visiting migrants impacts intergenerational relations between adult children and parents. Results show that migrants are more likely to help with the rice harvest if their origin household owns securely titled land, and if the migrant has lower human capital achievements. Parents may use land as a strategic bequest to elicit support, which is consistent with an intergenerational bargaining perspective.

DOI:10.1007/s10823-007-9052-4 (Full Text)

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