What's love got to do with marriage?

Chantler, Khatidja orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9129-2560 (2014) What's love got to do with marriage? Families, Relationships and Societies, 3 (1). pp. 19-33. ISSN 2046-7435

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/204674313X13794148714614


The formation of a marriage is frequently conceptualised as one of the most intimate relationships that people enter into, predicated on particular assumptions of romantic love at the point of entry into the marriage. This article explores marriage practices associated with ‘love’ and ‘arranged’ marriages, frequently presented as polar opposites, with love marriages positioned as normative and arranged marriages as alien and other. It draws attention to non-traditional practices such as online dating and ‘mail-order’ marriages to disrupt dominant assumptions of romantic love and draws some parallels between these practices and those of arranged marriages. By doing so, the article not only acknowledges alternative trajectories to marriage, but also serves as a useful intervention to interrogate the hegemonic Euro-American constructions of intimate relationships.

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