ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Matchmakers and Intermediation

Marriage in Contemporary Kolkata

Based on data from a research project on marriage conducted between 2007 and 2009 in Kolkata by the School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University this paper seeks to explore the dichotomy between "arranged" and "love" marriage. It moves away from the register of "choice" and "consent" and focuses on the question of intermediation. Social and technological changes have altered existing institutions of intermediation and created new ones, even as changes in matchmaking have both responded and contributed to the development of the "arranged love marriage" system. The seemingly dramatic transformation in forms and institutions of intermediation has nevertheless kept intact or even reinforced both caste and class configurations within the marriage market as well as gender stereotypes in the choice of bride/groom. There are major elements of continuity, but these are neither seamless nor uncontested.

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