From Collective Synchronization to Individual Liberalization: (Re)Emergence of Late Marriage in New Shanghai

Yong Cai, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Feng Wang, University of California, Irvine

Over a time span of fifty years, young people in Shanghai, China’s largest metropolis, produced two phases of late marriage, once under the socialist rule in the late 1970s and another during the post socialist era, in the late 1990s. These two late marriage regimes however were products of vastly different forces and they inform in important ways of the drastic social changes in urban China in the last half century. Using data from China’s 2005 Population Sample Survey, this paper documents the emergence and the reemergence of late marriage in Shanghai, and discusses the underlying forces driving these two phases as well as their social and political implications.

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Presented in Session 11: Family Change and Continuity