An older woman walking with her walking stick by a river.

Ageing in China

The intersection of ageing and agency in transitional China.

Led by Professor Yu Song, Director and Professor of the XIPU Institution at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China, current research examines ageing and the life course through the following two themes:

  1. The impact of social policies and social changes on ageing and health; and
  2. The interplay of human lives and historical time. 

Prof. Song's research interests cover industrial development, local governance, gender and social development, urbanisation, and ageing and health in China. 

Her publications have led to influential policy documents that have been well received by government and industry alike, and have achieved siginificant social impact in this area.


Theme One

The Impact of Social Policies and Social Changes on Ageing and Health

Journal Articles

1. Song, Y.*, Qian, C. and Pickard, S. (2021). Age-related digital divide during the COVID-19 Pandemic in China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (21), 11285.

2. Yu, S., Guo, N., Zheng, C., Song, Y. and Hao, J. L. (2021). Investigating the association between outdoor environment and outdoor activities for seniors living in old residential communities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 7500.

3. Song, Y. (2014). Losing an only child: one-child policy and elderly care in China. Reproductive Health Matters, 22 (43):113-124.

Working Papers

1. Migrant grandparents in China: care arrangements and identity (re)formation

2. Reconstructing inter-generational relationships among HIV/AIDS affected old adults in China

3. Smart elderly care in China: a systematic review of state policies between 2011 and 2020

4. Labour migration and elderly care in rural China: a perspective of intergenerational solidarity

Theme Two

The Interplay of Human Lives and Historical Time


Song, Y. Determinants of rural women’s migration in China, Shanghai Jiaotong University Press, 2014. (in Chinese)

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

1. Song, Y. (2020). Family planning policies and fertility changes in China: a historical review, in Xiaowei Zang and Hon S. Chan (Eds), Handbook of Public Policy and Public Administration in China, Edward Elgar, 277-289.

2. Wang, S.X. and Song, Y.* (2019). Chinese online public opinions on the two-child policy. Online Information Review, 43 (3): 387-403.

3. Song, Y. (2017). Women’s political participation in rural China: agency, power distribution and inheritance. Journal of China Women’s University, 29 (6): 44-50. (in Chinese)

4. Song, Y. (2016). Institutionalizing rural women’s political participation in China: reserved seats election for women. Asian Women, 32 (3): 77-99.

5. Song, Y. (2015). Women’s social mobility in China: marriage and class, in Yingjie Guo (Ed), Handbook of Class and Social Stratification in China, Edward Elgar, 128-141.

6. Song, Y. (2015). The sexuality education and attitudes of college students in China. Health Education, 115 (1): 93-104.

Working Paper

1. Migrant children in urban China: acculturation and adaptation



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