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On 25 May 2023, the LeidenAsiaCentre has invited Monica Liu, author of the book Seeking Western Men: Email-Order Brides under China’s Global Rise, published by Stanford University Press to give a lecture. This lecture will take place in The Hague Humanity Hub from 16:00 – 18:00, followed by a reception.

The talk will summarise the research Monica Liu conducted from 2008 to 2019 in China where she explored the life histories and decision-making processes of Chinese women seeking to marry Western men whom they met through online dating agencies. The majority of these women were middle-aged (above 40), divorced, and from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Monica’s investigation asked a number of questions: How did the inequalities that emerged during China’s transition from state socialism toward a global market economy shape these women’s desires to pursue out-migration via marriage? How did the women’s social and economic status in China affect their expectations about their new lives abroad? Monica’s study demonstrates how the Western men, a relatively homogenous group employed in agriculture, manufacturing, and small business, and the Chinese women “coupled,” and what factors proved decisive in the success or failure of their relationships. Lastly, Monica reflects on the problem of how changing economies challenge gender ideologies.

Date: 25-5-2023
Time: 16:00-18:00
Location: The Hague Humanity Hub

Monica Liu received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California – San Diego. She is currently Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of St. Thomas – Minnesota. Her research examines global internet dating and cross-border marriages between women from China and men from Western countries. Her research has been published in  Men and MasculinitiesQualitative Sociology, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Her monograph, Seeking Western Men: Email-Order Brides under China’s Global Rise (Stanford University Press) has just appeared  in 2023.


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