Summary of Who Will Marry My Daughter?

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Parent matchmaking is a practice that is still quite alive and visible in Chinese cities today. Hoping to shield their kids from the romantic failures they themselves experienced, anxious Chinese parents are taking their adult children’s happiness into their own hands. getAbstract recommends this article to those who are curious about China’s unique marriage market and who want to understand its sociocultural origin.

About the Author

Peidong Sun is an associate professor at the history department of Fudan University. She obtained two sociology PhD degrees: one from the Paris Institute of Political Studies and the other from Sun Yat-sen University. 



Flyers featuring profiles of singles of marriageable age have been adorning the walls of major city parks in China since 2005. Parents trying to secure spouses for their children will list the child’s gender, age, height, occupation, salary, and state whether he or she owns a house. Many call the matchmaking corner of parks the “son and daughter trading market.” Not surprisingly, this matchmaking strategy rarely works. Parents and children belong to different generations, each with its own approaches and ideology with regard to marriage.

The experiences of the parents’ generation can help explain their behavior. Many grew up during the rustication of urban-educated youth as part of the Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside movement in 1968–1979. When this generation of young people...

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