Chinese Family Hierarchy

In China, the institution of a family is the pinnacle of the society.  Chinese people hold family bonds above individual needs or wants and often, many generations live together either in the same house or the same neighborhood.

A traditional Chinese family follows a hierarchical order or family members with the man being the head of the family. In modern families however, there is no fixed hierarchical structure since men and women play same and equal roles at home and at work. If you wish to understand the Chinese family hierarchy a little better, you can read the following given information.

Chinese family hierarchyGrandfather

At the top of the hierarchical pyramid of a Chinese family is the eldest male of the house who in most cases is the grandfather. He holds the maximum power and responsibility and is the authorative figure in the house. Whether he is still working or not, he is the one who takes most of the decisions for others in the house and secures their future. Only after he crosses a certain age and can no longer handle responsibilities does this position pass on to his son.


Under the grandfather comes the grandmother who too is respected in a typical Chinese household. She looks after the needs of everyone, makes sure children are being looked after and handles the household chores or the supervision. She mainly has a supervisory role in the house.


The father comes next in the hierarchy of a Chinese family. He too holds a position of respect and authority and handles the main duties related to providing money and finances for the members of the family. The father is responsible for looking for ways to secure the future financially.


At the 4th position of a Chinese family comes the mother who may or may not be a housewife.  The mother looks after the children, the kitchen and also looks after the grandparents to ensure their heath is good. Working mothers may not be able to devote much time to children and in that case the grandmother takes on the education in China and wellbeing of the children.


The children fall at the bottom of the hierarchical pyramid and do not have many responsibilities.  They are required to study well, concentrate on their learning and help parents and grandparents with small tasks around the house. They are expected to respect everyone and conduct themselves well.