Lovebirds separate when the going gets rough; Social changes in China in the past several decades mean couples have to make more effort to stay married for life

Lovebirds separate when the going gets rough

Social changes in China in the past several decades mean couples have to make more effort to stay married for life. -China Daily/ANN
Sun, Jul 07, 2013
China Daily/Asia News Network

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Social changes in China in the past several decades mean couples have to make more effort to stay married for life. Besides people’s growing wealth, changes in sexual norms and looser divorce laws, another factor influencing marital breakdowns is the rise of smaller nuclear families, say researchers. “In the past, many couples stayed together for the benefit of their children,” says Wei-jun Jean Yeung, a sociology professor at the National University of Singapore, whose research includes transformations within Chinese families. “Nowadays, many couples have none or one or much fewer children than before,” so the physical and emotional ties binding the couple are no longer as strong.Previously, with more offspring, by the time all the children are grown up, husbands and wives are also much older. “You won’t be as willing to take risks and are not as able to start over,” says Regina Ho, a marriage counselor with Oasis International Hospital in Beijing.

China’s divorce rate of 2.3 percent, based on official 2012 figures, is nowhere in the top 10 internationally, but the growing cases of failed marriages is making people assess the reasons.

Greater internal migration in pursuit of jobs has also made relationships more fragile. From 1990 to 2005, according to a survey by Kam Wing Chan of the University of Washington, China saw 80 million people streaming in and out of its provinces. Additional movement takes place within provincial boundaries.

“In the socialist era, people were really nailed to a place. You were stuck with the neighbors you had, as well as the spouse you had,” Deborah Davis, a sociology professor at Yale University, who studies contemporary Chinese society, says in an interview with Yale’s MacMillan Center.

“Now, people find their partners usually without very much direct supervision from their parents if they’re on the move. It also means if it’s a bad relationship, it’s a bad marriage, people are much freer to leave and start again.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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