Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal by Rochona Majumdar

By Rochona Majumdar

An cutting edge cultural historical past of the evolution of contemporary marriage practices in Bengal, Marriage and Modernity demanding situations the idea that prepared marriage is an antiquated perform. Rochona Majumdar demonstrates that during the overdue colonial interval Bengali marriage practices underwent alterations that resulted in a valorization of the bigger, intergenerational relatives as a respected, “ancient” social establishment, with prepared marriage because the apotheosis of an “Indian” culture. She meticulously records the ways in which those newly embraced “traditions”—the and organized marriage—entered into pageant and dialog with different rising types of kinship similar to the fashionable unit of the couple, with either versions partaking promiscuously within the new “marketplace” for marriages, the place matrimonial ads within the print media and the cost of dowry performed principal roles. Majumdar argues that jointly the kinship buildings newly asserted as distinctively Indian and the emergence of the wedding marketplace constituted what was once and nonetheless is glossy approximately marriages in India.

Majumdar examines 3 wide advancements with regards to the modernity of prepared marriage: the expansion of a wedding industry, concomitant debates approximately intake and vulgarity within the behavior of weddings, and the criminal law of relatives estate and marriages. Drawing on matrimonial ads, marriage ceremony invites, poems, images, felony debates, and an enormous periodical literature, she indicates that the modernization of households doesn't inevitably suggest a transition from prolonged kinship to extended family buildings, or from matrimonial agreements negotiated among households to marriage contracts among participants. Colonial Bengal tells a truly diversified story.

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