Different countries have different customs and traditions in regards to love and marriage. In the western society we live in, the
popular assumption about love and marriage is that they are equal, with marriage being a decision based on an individual
couple. However in many other societies around the world, marriage acts as an extremely important ritual and the
fundamental means of creating bonds between different families or predecessors. Marriage is not only the merging together
of common individuals, but the merging of one family to another, in a bond regarded as 'mutually' beneficial to the increase
of fortune and power for each side. As an important way of merging bonds between families, the interests of marriage are
often considered to be too great to allow young adults to select their own partners.
The establishment of marriage is found in nearly all societies in the world, this fact clearly reflecting the importance of
reproductive and sexual functions in human life. In the history of marriage in China, traditionally, Chinese people married
through the arrangements of their parents or most important family elders. This idea of an arranged marriage, made decision-
making and finding a 'suitable' partner, a tactical opportunity for parents to choose a spouse for their child, as someone from
whom they felt they could gain social, political or financial benefits in the long term. As Jack. M. Potter's book 'China's
peasants' expresses, "The law did not substitute the necessity to form marriages on a basis of love, rather the law takes it for
granted that marriages will be formed in a moral Chinese way, in a chinese cultural context and this is not a context which
defines romantic love as an element in marriage choice" - (page191). However after years of control, and with an anti-
arranged marriage campaign that began with the 'New cultural movement', came an increasing public demand for own-
choice marriage partnerships and 'free love'. During the peak of the May Fourth era, at a time when the 'New cultural
movement' was operating, this marked a significant turning point during which the traditional method of arranged marriage
was to be completely threatened and overpowered by the Western ideas of free-choices and was supposed to be
recognised as a more modern foundation for people to follow. However, what this 'marriage revolution' brought to the modern
Chinese society, was not only unprecedented freedom, finally being able to choose a partner for themselves and an
extraordinary sense of romance and love, but it also brought with it, confusion, worry and disturbance.
With an ever fast-growing market in China and recent decrease in numbers of marriage, the overall objective of this research
is to allow us to develop a better understanding into the ideas set out by the Chinese communist party and whether arranged
marriage was in fact a long term benefit or disadvantage to the current Chinese society of today. It will also provide research
into other potential factors affecting this gradual decline in numbers, with elements such as the amount of impact a booming
economy and higher education have on the people.
With a long lasting tradition of repressive arranged marriages, and recent reports showing a staggering population of
249million unmarried young adults in urban cities, such as Shanghai, I have broken down clearly, the list of objectives I
would like to achieve during this paper:
1)I would like to use this research paper to gain a more in depth understanding about this long lasting tradition in China,
where the ideas originated from and the thoughts behind this, what were they...