as the intersection
of the old
and the new

Title chapter: Tradition and the digital: A study of dating attitudes among Australia-based Chinese dating app users
Author: Xu Chen
Keywords: dating apps, dating cultures, China, Australia
Abstract: Dating practices in contemporary China are still driven in many ways by Chinese courtship traditions, such as parental involvement and male privilege. While new technologies are often seen as forces for cultural innovation, the role of dating apps in reconfiguring dating practices has received little attention in Chinese contexts, despite the rapid rise of these technologies in China. This situation stands in contrast to the levels of attention paid to dating apps and their role in transforming intimate cultures in Western contexts. Accordingly, drawing on data from 23 interviews from an ongoing project about Australia-based Chinese people’s engagement with the dating apps Tinder and Tantan, this paper examines young Chinese people’s current attitudes towards dating and marriage. It looks, in particular, at how such attitudes appear to shape and be shaped by the use of dating applications. While it shows that dating apps have the potential to reconfigure young Chinese people’s attitudes to dating, I argue that the role of dating apps in this process mainly functions as reinforcement and acceleration, without fundamentally changing users’ dating attitudes.
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