27 August, 2020 - Injuries of Love and Matchmaking: Unpacking the Indian Marriage Market, Dr. Parul Bhandari, JGBS

The much-debated Netflix show “Indian Matchmaking” has been hugely popular all over the world. Our in-house JGU faculty Dr. Parul Bhandari has opined on it in print media and on radio shows. CAPBREI is hosting Prof. Bhandari for the first lecture of the series. She will be discussing about the social embeddedness of this show and the business of marriage in a thought-provoking lecture on “Injuries of Love and Matchmaking: Unpacking the Indian Marriage Market”, on Thursday, 27 August at 6:30PM.


Abstract:  India is immediately and simplistically associated with “arranged” marriage, concomitant to which is the idea of a “marriage market”. Rife with biodatas, interviews, and a long list of criteria this market is driven by matchmakers, who primarily focus on caste identity, financial standing, and social status of prospective spouses. At the same time, it cannot be ignored that individuals enter the marriage market with experiences of love and intimacies, including break-ups, betrayal, and violence, which can significantly impact their approach to spouse-selection. Since the marriage market has witnessed a rise of ‘new’ matchmakers, who claim to match one’s personality and family status while suggesting suitable spouses, a pressing question is: do the new matchmakers also consider the role of, “injuries of love”? Indeed, what sort of injuries does matchmaking inflict? In this talk, Dr. Bhandari will analyse the Indian marriage market through the lens of injuries of love and matchmaking and the rise of ‘new’ matchmakers.

About the speaker:

Dr. Parul Bhandari is Associate Professor, Sociology, at Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global University. She researches contemporary Indian society, with special attention to marriage, gender, family, and social class. She completed her PhD from the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, UK. Previously, she was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities (CSH), New Delhi, and Visiting Scholar at St. Edmund’s College and the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge. She has Guest Faculty positions at the Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT) Delhi, and the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.

She has authored three books: Matchmaking in Middle Class India: Beyond Arranged and Love Marriage (Springer, 2020); Money, Culture, Class: Elite Women as Modern Subjects, (Routledge, London 2019); and Exploring Indian Modernities: Ideas and Practices (co-edited) (Springer, 2018).