[Lecturer] Sandy To, is a Teaching Consultant at the Department of Sociology of the University of Hong Kong. Her PhD, from Cambridge University explored Chinese professional women's marriage views and partner choices.
[Abstract] The increasing number of highly educated, unmarried women in China over the past few decades has given rise to the sheng nu or "leftover women" phenomenon. This study is the first that investigates the phenomenon from the sheng nus' point of view, which differs from existing superficial media accounts that portray them as liberated city singles who are not interested in marriage, or women with overly high expectations for marriage partners who are to blame for being 'leftovers' in the marriage market. Using the Grounded Theory Method, I found that the majority of Chinese women wanted to get married, but were precluded from doing so by the "patriarchal constraints" of Chinese society. In this talk, I will discuss these constraints that sheng nu face in their quest for marriage in modern Chinese society, and the "partner choice strategies" they adopt.