Handbook on the Family and Marriage in China
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Handbook on the Family and Marriage in China

Edited by Xiaowei Zang and Lucy X. Zhao

This Handbook advances research on the family and marriage in China by providing readers with a multidisciplinary and multifaceted coverage of major issues in one single volume. It addresses the major conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues of marriage and family in China and offers critical reflections on both the history and likely progression of the field.
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Chapter 6: Foreign-related marriages in contemporary China, 1979–2013

Pan Wang

Abstract

Chapter 6 reviews the scholarly literature on ‘Asia_West’ and ‘intra-Asia’ marriages and studies of foreign-related marriages in China. It then analyses how Chinese_foreign marriages started to ‘resurrect’ thanks to China’s economic liberation and legal reforms in the late 1970s. The early transitional period paralleled official recognition of, and public reservation against, Chinese_foreign marriages, especially marriages involving foreign nationals. The 1990s witnessed China’s changing attitudes towards cross-Strait relations, reflecting in the proliferation of cross-Strait marriages and the rising number of Chinese_foreign marriages overseas. China’s increasing globalization in the 2000s triggered the growth in the number of foreign spouses and internationalized marriages in China, giving rise to gendered discourses and binary constructions in relation to foreign spouses of Chinese in the media. Wang concludes by summarizing the changing character of foreign-related marriages in different historical periods and argues that these marriages have begun to shape and complicate the overarching marriage landscape in China in this century.

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