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Constructing desirable brides

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This paper utilizes Membership Categorization Analysis (MCA) and Conversation Analysis (CA) to examine the entwined relationships among interaction, storytelling, and membership categorization. While demonstrating how a storytelling event in a qualitative research interview and the categories constructed within it are skillfully wielded by the teller to meet interactional exigencies, this single case analysis shows how members do culture-in-action (Hester and Eglin 1997) related to arranged marriage negotiations in the Indian context. A close examination of the emic categories produced in the interview reveals how the interactants collaboratively co-construct the social structures surrounding arranged marriages and the notion of ‘desirable’ brides. Illustrating the salience of medium-of-education (MoE) in these emic constructions of desirable brides, the analysis reveals the marginalization of Hindi-medium-educated (HME) women in the arranged marriage sphere.

Keywords: CA; MCA; arranged marriages; brides; culture-in-action; medium-of-education; storytelling

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 22, 2019

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