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‘I arranged my own marriage': arranged marriages and post-colonial feminism

Pande, R.

‘I arranged my own marriage': arranged marriages and post-colonial feminism Thumbnail


R. Pande


This article looks at the practice of arranged marriage among women of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin resident in Britain. It examines the conflation of arranged marriages with forced marriages and the assumption that arranged marriages are examples of cultural practices that thwart individual agency. Drawing upon original empirical data, this article will argue that in the practice of arranged marriage, some South Asian women are able to exercise agency while choosing their marriage partner. They adapt traditional arranged marriage practices to navigate their way around strict cultural expectations and to negotiate with their family members the choice of a match that is favourable for them. It provides a corrective account of arranged marriages by challenging the stereotype of the ‘oppressed third world women' and their experiences of such marriages. The article will do this by employing the idea of post-colonial feminism and by highlighting two long-standing issues in feminist debates: the idea of agency and the conception and role of power in the struggle for women's rights. It will make a case for a post-colonial approach to feminism as one way of reconciling feminism with the politics of multiculturalism.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 11, 2013
Online Publication Date Jan 27, 2014
Publication Date Jan 27, 2015
Deposit Date Jul 15, 2014
Publicly Available Date Jul 16, 2014
Journal Gender, Place and Culture
Print ISSN 0966-369X
Electronic ISSN 1360-0524
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 2
Pages 172-187
Keywords British-Asians, Arranged marriages, Feminism, Post-colonialism, Power, Agency.
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