Remarriage in India: Online Presentation Strategies of Men and Women on an Indian Remarriage Website

Smeeta Mishra, Krishna Jayakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Traditionally, attitudes towards remarriage in India have been characterised by scepticism and suspicion, especially in the case of women. Online remarriage sites promised to open up new possibilities for Indians seeking remarriage. A study of self-presentation strategies adopted by men and women in their online profiles posted on a popular remarriage site shows that while the new technology may have made it easier for divorced and widowed individuals to search for partners, profiles presented emphasise caste and community affiliations, and reinforce gendered roles and expectations. Those seeking remarriage, especially women, engaged in substantial efforts to allay fears and concerns associated with divorce and remarriage in India by adhering to normative standards characteristic of a deeply patriarchal society. While many profiles of men highlighted a sense of male entitlement and privilege, an account of the circumstances of divorce was missing from the profiles of both men and women even as the Indian family as a site of harmony and respectability was emphasised by both. Furthermore, while men made consumerist promises in their statements, women used their online profiles to express their consumerist dreams, simultaneously adhering to gendered expectations. Finally, both men and women engaged in selective self-presentation emphasising socially desirable traits such as a light skin tone or a desirable body type in a neoliberal context marked by consumerist modernity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-335
Number of pages27
JournalIndian Journal of Gender Studies
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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