Chinese society, as elsewhere, has constructed an often uneasy arrangement between the forces of passionate love, comfort love, and sexual desire. This arrangement requires continuous adjustment at the individual and societal level. The competing push and pull of feeling states and values common to the domains of love and sexual desire are seldom stable. This ensures that every generation will revisit, if not renegotiate, and thus modify the conventional explanation of how best to merge and thus integrate the pull toward emotional exclusiveness found in the impulse for love, with an equally powerful concern for social and economic practicality. This, then, is the chapter’s central focus: to probe assessment of research findings as they pertain to changes found in mate selection criteria, competing rationales, and social negotiations, voiced and unvoiced within the context of courtship and dating, that range from stark materialistic displays to private yearnings about the value of intimacy, and how the weight given that value has come to define what it means to have a satisfactory marriage.
William Jankowiak and B Shurentana
In chapter 9, William Jankowiak and B Shurentana provide an overview of themes and trends in the study of ethnicity in urban China. First, because minority research has been primarily conducted among rural ethnic groups, there are few studies of urban ethnic populations. To date, most research has focused on the relationship between cultural assumptions and how state policies have shaped who is and who is not a minority. With a few notable exceptions, it was not until the twentieth-first century that some of China’s 55 official urban minorities’ (e.g., Hui, Uyghur, Mongol, Tibetan, Sebei, Halka) family life were studied. Jankowiak and Shurentana summarize research on China’s urban ethnicity along with an ethnographic overview of Mongolian life in Hohhot, capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), as a way to illustrate how the urbanization process has reconfigured what it means to be a member of an ethnic minority group in Chinese society.