簡介：This paper explores how the close associations of romantic love, heterosexual marriage, and homeownership are morally framed in contemporary China and how such moral economies are gendered based. For more than a decade, there are rising tensions between marriage and homeownership among urban Chinese. Men’s homeownership upon marriage has become the most crucial factor in shaping contemporary Chinese people's love and marital relationships. By analyzing popular discourses from TV dramas and Internet discussions, and in-depth interviews with young Chinese people in Beijing who have faced the issue of owning a marriage home, this paper finds moral clashes between Chinese women and men on the relationship of romantic intimacy and economic activities. Chinese women and men share the cultural assumptions of the importance of economic security and men as the breadwinners in the family. However, Chinese women emphasize the “economic morality of the patriarch marriage” by which I mean that Chinese women’s normative assumptions of marriage are that the institution of marriage is about exploitations of women and economic security via the form of homeownership promised by men upon marriage is a necessary means to cope with such gender exploitations. Chinese men stress the “love morality of the economic marriage” by which I mean that Chinese men overlook gender inequality and emphasize the institution of marriage as a mark of love and the foundation to achieve as masculine, economic beings in the pressure and name of the family. Gendered moral clashes tell disputes in contemporary Chinese gender politics and intimate life.
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