Ties that Bind: Marriage and Partner Choice in the Indian Community in Australia in a Transnational Context

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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. ISSN 1070-289X


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.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/3282
DOI 10.1080/10702890701578498
Official URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1070289...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > SEO Classification > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Australian Community Centre for Diabetes
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives (ICEPA)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1603 Demography
Keywords ResPubID13533, partner choice, marriage, transnational, Indian community
Citations in Scopus 21 - View on Scopus
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