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Contextualising transformed intergenerational relationships in China: Using adult daughters’ mate selection as an example

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Recent studies indicate that a shift from the notion of filial piety to a contract of reciprocal care characterises the changing intergenerational relationship in Asian societies. Using women’s experience of dealing with the parent–child relationship during their mate selection process as an example, this article seeks to further examine transformed intergenerational relationships in China. Findings of the study show that when contextualising the contract of reciprocal care in China, the aspect of intergenerational negotiation concerning adult children’s mate selection should not be underestimated. In outlining how Chinese individuals’ redefinition and experience of intergenerational relationships are shaped by intersectional factors such as parents’ economic wellbeing, residential proximity, parental material and emotional investment influenced by the one-child policy, and changes of daughters’ mating values due to their experience of social mobility, the study contributes to the ongoing exploration of how modern intimate relations are situationally shaped by local material, cultural and political circumstances.
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Keywords: China; gender; intergenerational relationship

Affiliations: 1: Shenzhen University, China, Singapore Management University, Singapore 2: The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Appeared or available online: Mon Feb 15 12:45:00 UTC 2016

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UA-1313315-21
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