Reactions of Chinese “drifting elderly” aged 50 years and over when facing negative experiences in urban living
Main Article Content
Our aim was to analyze and interpret the behavioral reactions of Chinese laopiao (drifting elderly), that is, people aged 50 years and over who have migrated from rural to urban areas to rejoin adult sons/daughters, and who face negative experiences as a result of this move. We employed grounded theory and interviewed 31 migrants living in Shanghai. Most participants showed an obvious bias when facing negative experiences: they prioritized the future over the present, were accepting of present losses, and expressed risk aversion regarding future gains. Regarding the present, participants expressed a relatively weak desire for anticipatory gains and a positive attitude regarding risks. In contrast, regarding the future, they expressed a strong desire for anticipatory gains and a strong desire to delay related risks. Therefore, for the sake of future gains and to avoid greater risk, they continued to live as drifting elderly even when they were currently facing some seemingly negative social consequences.