This paper examines the motivations and contexts for China’s highly educated, financially independent single urban women to willingly participate in parental matchmaking. Based on the analysis of two rounds of in-depth interviews with 25 never-married women in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, we find that their participation in parental matchmaking is best understood as an intergenerational alliance formed to mitigate perceived insecurities. Neo-familism, state-endorsed stigmatization and discriminatory polices explain why parents and daughters both prioritize socio-economic security in mate selection. However, the benefits of this inter-generational collaboration are doubtful and asymmetrical, more beneficial to parents than daughters. We contribute to the literature by specifying how state-promoted discourses, neo-familism and women’s lived experiences explain their participation in parental matchmaking.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funding by a General Research Fund from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (Grant code: LU 13602417)
© The Author(s) 2022.
- Chinese single women
- gender & family