Ties that bind: marriage and partner choice in the Indian community in Australia in a transnational context

Gopalkrishnan, Narayan, and Babacan, Hurriyet (2007) Ties that bind: marriage and partner choice in the Indian community in Australia in a transnational context. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 14 (4). pp. 507-526.

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Abstract

Transnational migration explores the realities of individuals, families, and groups whose lives are rooted in more than one nation-state. People's lives within this context are characterised by simultaneous connections and identities as they negotiate multiple host societies and transnational relationships. This article explores issues of partner choice and marriage among the members of the Indian community in Australia. Based on interviews with young people, parents, elders, and community leaders, we demonstrate that partner choice and marriage are complex, contradictory, and selective processes, influenced by transnational relationships. We explore how the context of the Indian diaspora alters the lived realities of individuals and communities and results in hybrid practices of marriage and partner choice. We delve into attitudes about marriage and the processes for partner choice including arranged marriages, love marriages, and assisted marriages. We argue that the construction of self in the context of migration is central to negotiations about partner choice. We explore key factors that influence marriages and partner choice, such as respect for family, reverence for the wisdom of elders, transmission of "Indian values," family honour and social and community standing, expectations of family in India, and gender roles. We examine the notion of "assisted marriages" as a hybrid form of marriage that is seen as an acceptable solution in the resolution of tensions of difference and continuity in the context of the Indian diaspora.

Item ID: 17939
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1547-3384
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2011 06:38
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160803 Race and Ethnic Relations @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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