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Care and inheritance: Japanese and English perspectives on the ‘generational contract’

Ageing & Society

Author: Izuhara, M.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2002


This article explores the changing nature and patterns of the ‘generational contract’, with particular reference to the exchange of nursing care and housing assets between older parents and their adult children. Inheritance practices and attitudes are used to examine the ways in which socio-economic, demographic and policy changes have recently altered the conventional arrangements in Japanese society. The previously defined ‘generational contract’ is now ambiguous, and the expectations and obligations of different family members are fragmented. This article also discusses whether such practices in Japan are unique and the ways in which they differ from the English situation. Family obligations and inheritance have been more explicitly connected in the Japanese social and legal systems, while in England there is neither legal obligation to support older parents nor any constraint on inheritance. This article elucidates the similarities and differences in the patterns of inheritance and thus the exchange models between care and inheritance in the two societies.

Further Details

Full Title: Ageing & Society
Pages: 61-77
Volume: 22
Issue: 01
ISBN/ISSN: 0144-686X
Accession Number: Dec, 2011
Notes: Print discarded.
Electronic Resource Number: doi:10.1017/S0144686X0200853X
Access Date: 2002
Keywords: Aged, housing, carer, Japan
Reads: 120