To Love, to Live

  • Chow Yiu Fai
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Globalization, Culture and Society book series (PSGCS)


This chapter situates itself in studies on single women in China, which report similar marginalization as reported in Western contexts. These women have to endure the demand to become a “full” woman through matrimony and maternity, coerced by Confucian values, state propaganda, and parental pressure. Their lived experiences point to a three-pronged approach. First, there are negative accounts of anxiety and feelings of crisis, when they are under pressure to get married, often being pressurized to meet potential husbands by family and peers (xiangqin). Second, some women articulate their wish to be romantically involved and the tactics they use to find “the right one.” These include attending courses offered by the so-called Love Club, joining interest groups, and engaging in cultural activities. Third, there are also more positive articulations of freedom and autonomy, lifestyle, and social support, underwriting single lives’ potentials to open up spaces for alternative forms of relationships and co-habitation beyond the heteronormative.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chow Yiu Fai
    • 1
  1. 1.Hong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong

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