The globalisation of love? Examining narratives of intimacy and marriage among middle-class Gujarati Indians in the UK and India
Families, Relationships and Societies
Recent research suggests that global ideologies of love are shaping marriage practices the world over. I compare the narratives of young (20-30 years) middle class Gujarati Indians in the UK and India, to examine how these ideals are lived out in two very different contexts. In India, heterosexual monogamous marriage arranged with parental consent emerged as the only legitimate modern form of intimate relations due to a complex conjunction of romantic ideologies and 'traditional' familial
... nal' familial marriage preferences. In the UK, participants distanced themselves from any sense of 'arrangement' in their relationships, which seemed to call into question for them the veracity of their love. The social context of the UK both supports and facilitates self-selected 'love marriage' amongst young people, while the converse is true in India. Global ideologies of romantic love are pervasive, but they are interpreted by individuals within local understandings of appropriate marriage and relationships.