How does the average man find a wife in materialistic Shanghai? There are two single males to every single female and the women are increasingly picky and middle-class. The effects of the one-child policy combined with a rapid revolution in China's values and lifestyles, have created increasingly selective middle- class Shanghai women. For working class men, finding a wife is a quest that requires money, time, and the strength to withstand countless disappointments. Wu is an electrician, earning 1,000 yuan (U.S.$125) per month. His ex-wife left him to find a wealthier man, and he has spent a large percentage of his income on dating agencies and newspaper classifieds in the hope of finding a nice woman to marry. Aileen is one of a growing number of professional, independent Shanghai women who no longer feel the traditional pressures of marrying early. Like many others, Aileen prefers foreign boyfriends, thereby completely skipping over local men like Wu in favor of finding a mate of higher status. Shanghai Bride is a rare portrait of ordinary people in an extraordinary social predicament, a window on the materialistic and cut-throat nature of Shanghai s marriage market.
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