Changing Generational Exchanges across the Young Adult Years: Interlocking Lives, Migration and Remittances in Thailand

Ronald R. Rindfuss, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East West Center
Katherine Faust, University of California, Irvine

Inter-generational exchanges can be viewed from the perspective of the senior or junior generation; but typically, because of data constraints, the view is from the senior generation. Such a perspective provides information on whether parents are receiving help, but tends to miss the dynamics of the junior generation as they pass through the demographically dense years of young adulthood, acquiring obligations as spouses and parents. Such tension between obligations across generations can be magnified when a society is undergoing the massive transition to an urban, industrial and post-industrial society. Using the theoretical framework of the life course which emphasizes interlocked lives across the life course and a unique Thai panel data set that permits examination of this issue from the perspective of the younger generation, we find that sending remittances to origin household and returning to help with the rice harvest is related to the complex interplay of the parents circumstances and the those of the migrant.

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Presented in Session 156: Generational Exchanges and Relationships: Adult-Children and Elderly Parents