CASE Scientific Session (Wenqian Xu)
Title: Ageing without Children
Description: The focus of this research seminar is “Ageing without Children,” which stems from an ongoing postdoctoral research project. This project delves into how ageing individuals plan and prepare for childless ageing and how they construct meanings of later-life childlessness.Childlessness is a growing phenomenon in many countries, with China experiencing rapid and fast ageing. By 2050, it is projected that there will be over 79 million childless older adults in China alone. This trend carries significant societal and individual implications. It raises concerns about the impact on healthcare and caregiving expenditures within society. Moreover, childlessness is associated with health disparities, as cumulative disadvantages can affect the well-being of childless older adults. Planning for a childless future presents a novel perspective on longevity and redefines life trajectories. This approach empowers childless adults to not only thrive but also make valuable contributions to society. Long-term planning offers the potential to optimize living environments for childless older adults, thereby enhancing their quality of life. Research on this topic is pertinent for social scientists and policymakers in societies grappling with increasing rates of childlessness in China and other countries. The seminar will include a presentation of this project, followed by discussions on this subject.