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In China, marriage and family life continues to be a central element within Chinese culture, with adolescents and young adults typically assuming that they will eventually find a partner.
What is lacking, however, is a broader understanding of how contemporary Chinese youth view dating and intimate relationships.
This involves, especially for sons, the care for parents in their elderly years (see Ho ).
Understandably, this places great pressure upon unmarried sons to negotiate with his parents over the identification and selection of a suitable wife, who, in turn, will also provide assistance to his aging parents.
), perhaps due to their more traditional perspectives.
One of the enduring cultural traits is “xiao,” which, in the most basic sense, refers to filial piety.This, then, may lead young adults within collectivistic cultures to emphasize the pragmatic functions of dating and eventual marriage, while having less concern with notions of “love” and “romance” (Hsu ).The post-Mao Chinese government has steadily encouraged economic modernization and the development of economic practices based upon free market principles similar to those found in Westernized countries.The Chinese character for “xiao” can visually be interpreted as a child with an old man on his back (Han ).
The long-standing expectation of “xiao” is that children devote their lives, without question, to their parents and families.
Seemingly, contemporary Chinese college students may be adopting a perspective of dating and intimate relationships which focuses less on paths toward marriage and more on immediate pleasure and gratification (Yang ).