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Understanding Marriage

A Hong Kong Case Study

Katherine Young

Publication Year: 1995

This book examines changes that occur in the marital relationship today. The author concludes that as 'affective individualism' is used to characterize modern marriages in the West, 'affective familism' is a more appropriate character of marriages among the Chinese in Hong Kong.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v-vii

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pp. ix

This book has been written for counsellors in training as well as for those in active practice who on a daily basis have to deal with real life marital issues, where the sound evaluation of a couple's relationship can greatly aid the spouses and the counsellor. Carefully selected marital assessment measures have been tested for their effectiveness and reliability in providing a way for spouses to describe...

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pp. xi-xii

During my work on this study on marriage in Hong Kong I have been impressed by the interest shown in this subject by the many social workers from various agencies. The extensive help that they have readily given me in the arduous work of data collection and the open way in which they have shared their experiences in counselling has made it clear that the condition of marriages in...

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pp. 1-3

When Mr and Mrs Lee walked through the door they were complete strangers to me. Mrs Lee said she did not know what was happening to them and to their relationship, but they seemed to be constantly bickering. She would like an outsider to sort things out with them. When asked what she thought was happening, Mrs Lee said it was all a matter of finances. Their incomes could not stretch to cover paying the mortgage and household expenses of two homes. Mr Lee countered by saying that the matter...

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pp. 5-9

It has long been assumed that Asian marriages enjoy an intrinsic stability not to be found elsewhere and that an enduring quality is to be found in the relationship, based on tradition and family ties. This may once have been true. But to an increasing extent it is an assumption that cannot be supported by the evidence around us. Marital problems and dissolution are on the increase in Hong...

Part I. The Hong Kong Marital Study

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pp. 11

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Chapter One. Studying Marriages Hong Kong

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pp. 13-27

In the study and conceptualization of marriage three major approaches have been used to address and analyse the many dimensions of this dyadic relationship. The psychodynamic tradition views marriage as a relationship most similar in nature to the early caring experience of the parent child bond. The spouse is expected to...

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Chapter Two. The Hong Kong Marital Study

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pp. 29-43

The main focus of the Hong Kong Marital Study is to identify and describe patterns of marital transactions in Hong Kong marriages. These patterns are drawn from the accounts provided by the husbands and wives through the use of self report measures and in their responses during interviews. This material has been organized and analysed to reflect the couple's evaluation of the relationship...

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Chapter Three. The Couple's Descriptions of Their Relationship

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pp. 45-57

The couples interviews commenced with compliments to the spouses for investing time and effort in a review of their relationship, and with an introduction to self report questionaires as providing the structure to enable a comprehensive overview of the multiple facets of married living. After completing ENRICH, the...

Part II. Variations in Marriage

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pp. 59

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Chapter Four. Classification of Types of Marriage

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pp. 61-83

The ENRICH marital inventory is one of the scales associated with the Circumplex model which proposes a typology of 16 types of marriage. The ENRICH computer report includes a map showing the spouses' type of marriage according to their responses on the cohesion and adaptability subscales. Scores...

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Chapter Five. Variations in the Marital Experience According to the Life Cycle

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pp. 85-97

The classification of marriages into patterns is a useful way of grouping together marriages with common characteristics. However, a group which shares some similarities may also have interesting variations in other aspects. Thus an analysis of the marriage of either adjusted and non-adjusted spouses at different...

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Chapter Six. Variations in the Marital Experience According to Gender and Generational Issues

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pp. 99-115

Bernard (1982) observed that there are two marriages in every marriage, his and hers. This is also discernible in some aspects of the Hong Kong study, where husbands generally considered their spousal relationship to be more adjusted and more satisfactory than did the wives. The husbands mean score of 106.3 on the DAS was significantly higher...

Part III. Marital Interdependence

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pp. 117

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Chapter Seven. The Transition From Traditional to Companionship Marriages

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pp. 119-132

Within the last generation, Hong Kong has undergone a series of social changes which have had a direct impact on marriage. In 1971, the Marriage Reform Ordinance restricted marriage to one husband and one wife, and formally abolished the traditional concubine, or tsip sze, status. In 1972, the no fault divorce was instituted. In 1990/1, the Law Reform Commission...

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Chapter Eight. Interdependence in Marital Relationships

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pp. 133-146

Social relations among the Chinese are governed by expectations of interdependence. Except for the parent-child relationship, which is one of commitment regardless of the nature of their transactions, interdependence in other relationships is based on various levels of reciprocity. This includes the relationship of marriage, in which husbands and wives contribute to and receive rights and obligations...

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Chapter Nine. Tuning Into Spousal Negotiations

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pp. 147-160

In their daily life, spouses regularly negotiate with each other over various issues of mutual concern. These exchanges may be overt or covert, active or passive, verbal or behavioral. They may be over small matters, or issues of serious concern. Communication is the life blood of any marriage, and in healthy marriages...

Appendix 1. The Measuring Instruments

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pp. 163-173

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Appendix 2. Determining Criterion Groups

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pp. 174-183

The couple score of 200 according to the Dyadic Adjustment Scale was adopted to determine criterion groups of adjusted and non-adjusted groups in the Hong Kong Marital Study. To confirm the appropriateness of this criteria, one-way analysis was conducted on other variables which could have served to determine criterion groups, with the DAS as the dependent variable....

Appendix 3. Statistical Tests Applied in the Study

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pp. 184-185

Appendix 4. The Marital Relationship Index—MRI

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pp. 186-190


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pp. 190-200

Author Index

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pp. 201-203

Subject Index

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pp. 205-210

E-ISBN-13: 9789882202986
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622093669

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 1995