Privacy in the Family

  • Tse Pik-chu


With the great technological advances of the modern era, people have increased concerns about privacy. This chapter, based on data collected from in-depth interviews with 12 respondents from Mainland China, analyzes Chinese people’s privacy orientation, consciousness of rights of privacy, and demarcation of privacy boundaries The mainland Chinese prioritize the privacy of solitude, intimacy, and reserve, while anonymity is not highly prized. In respect of privacy, the mainland Chinese give their family a certain degree of tolerance for opening personal letters. They take the individual as the boundary of privacy, whereby they attend seriously to the personal room as privacy space. Nevertheless, the individuals give their family a high degree of openness in respect to other rights such as knowledge about personal finances and companions, whereby the family as a unit can remain as another boundary of privacy. In the aspects of studies, friendship, work, and emotional relationships, the individuals would disclose to their family the status quo of a personal relationship, but not the problems encountered. Instead, the individual would discuss with schoolmates, friends, or lovers while encountering unhappiness. The individual’s zone of privacy thus also involves non-family members such as friends. Although the function of the family in providing emotional support and satisfaction is no longer as important as before, Chinese people continue to attach much importance to familial relationships.


Personal Information Chinese Mainland Personal Space Personal Privacy Privacy Orientation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ResearcherHong KongChina

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