The earlier works of Potter, Hsu and Sun, however, describe a China in which personal emotions have less of an influential role in society. Potter, for example, identifies a want in 1980s China to emphasise societal roles and obligations in the place of emotion. She argues the sentimental displays are...
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...h sit fittingly with those of Potter, in that he identifies the main role of marriage as being functional and not necessarily based on romantic love. ‘The central concern’ he says, ‘with reference to marriage was not ‘love’… but non-romantic qualifications such as ability, money, health’ etcetera. He moreover notes that marriage often served the purpose of pleasing ones parents (filial piety). He goes further than Potter, however, stating that the principal factor for parents’ appeasement was the provision of an ‘heir’. In his discussion of ‘pao’ (which appears to refer to reciprocity) Hsu seems to imply that Chinese society is dominated by this concept that actions are conducted with the anticipation of a returning action, and the belief that everyone should in some way pay back the people they receive from. This constitutes the main ideal of ‘propriety’ in China.
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