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Jing Song and Lulu Li

Chapter 5 studies mate selection in rural China, stressing local variations, temporal change, and persisting patterns. It reviews three aspects of scholarship on mate selection in rural China: courtship and marriage formation, mate selection preferences, and mate selection markets. Although modernity and individuality are a general trend governing these three aspects, the persistence and revival of patriarchy and gender hierarchy are also evident. In the post-1978 era, market expansion and policy changes have led mate selection trends in different directions, such as increasing ‘girl power’, reinforcing status homogamy, and intensifying the marriage squeeze. Some policy outcomes were unexpected, due to the complicated interaction of family structures, market forces, political factors, and gender norms. For rural people, marriage is not only increasingly entrenched with emotion and affection, but also an institution of status match.

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Zhang Song and Lei Jing-Wen

This chapter reflects on challenges aged care facility operators face in developing and operating such facilities in China. Interviews and surveys with development and operation companies of aged care facilities were conducted, where opposition from communities was cited as a major challenge due to cultural taboos against death. This is despite the Chinese traditions of honouring filial piety and in respecting and caring for the elderly. Such community opposition highlights the changing social structures of modern China, and the newness of specifically constructed aged care facilities as a way to housing and caring for the elderly. Without government support and intervention, the severity of community opposition has led to projects being abandoned. This was irrespective of their size and mix of functions. This chapter concludes with potential solutions to addressing these issues.

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Lynda Jiwen Song, Junfeng Wu and Jing Zhou