PhD defence by Dala Duo

Coping well or aging well? Elderly care and aging in Tibetan Regions in Western China
PhD student
Monday 9 Oct 2023, 16:00 - 18:00
PhD defence
Spoken Language
Aula B and livestream
International Institute of Social Studies
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Dala Duo

On 9 October 2023, Dala Duo will defend his thesis on the impact of socioeconomic transformation on elderly care in Tibetan areas, exploring care provisions and aging experience.

This study delves into the impact of socioeconomic transformations on elderly care in Tibetan areas undergoing rapid change. It examines whether these changes have led to a crisis in elderly care and how various responses have affected this situation. Using a care diamond conceptual framework and a 14-month ethnographic study in a rural Tibetan community, the research explores care provision through state, community, private sector, and family channels. It also investigates the elderly's perspective on aging well.

Findings reveal that challenges and care crises exist, especially due to China's fragmented social policies and out-migration of younger generations. However, the care crisis is mitigated by an institutional arrangement between state, family, community, and care homes. Recent social reforms have partially improved income security, and family members, particularly women, remain the primary caregivers. Informal social networks and religious groups play crucial roles in the care regime, offering companionship and assistance. Institutional-based care serves as a last resort for destitute elders.

Overall, while elderly individuals and families adapt to socioeconomic changes, this doesn't necessarily translate to aging well in terms of overall well-being and security. The study challenges international debates on elderly care, emphasizing the importance of considering cultural and socioeconomic specifics when examining aging experiences.

Watch Dala's defence live

PhD defence Dala Duo - livestream

PhD defence Dala Duo - livestream

Doctoral Board


Professor Arjun Bedi

Doctoral dissertation supervisor

Professor Andrew Fischer


Dr Amrita Chhachhi

Full Doctoral Committee

  • Professor Nancy Levine, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Professor Emily Yeh, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Professor Geoff Childs, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Professor Tashi Rabgey, George Washington University
  • Dr Jarmila Ptáčková, Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Dr Roy Huijsmans, ISS

More information

The ceremony will begin promptly at 16:00 hrs in the ISS auditorium (Aula B) of the ISS, Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague. The doors will be closed after the start of the Public Defence, but will be briefly opened after the candidate’s introduction to allow latecomers to enter.

Children under 7 years old are not allowed in the Aula during the first part of the ceremony.

The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the Atrium of the ISS.

Professors are invited to join the academic procession.

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