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Rochona Majumdar on e-matrimony

When the social mechanism for arranging marriages in India moves online, the cultural impact is anything but obvious. That’s why, when the Digital Journal examined the booming business of e-matrimony, they called Rochona Majumdar, professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. From the article:

So has the Internet killed the age-old custom of arranged marriage in India? 

Not really. 

Rochona Majumdar, professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at The University of Chicago and author of Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal, says that the onslaught of modernization has not eroded the institution of arranged marriage. It has merely brought about its evolution. While in colonial India, marriages were brokered by highly-respected individuals who were at once, “matchmakers and social historians with intimate knowledge of family genealogies,” in the modern era, it is being arranged by virtual matchmakers. Some obvious differences, however, are that the latter possess no “social memory” (other than the cookie-enabled cache memory) and are not known to extort clients like their human counterparts often did in the past. Also, unlike them, these Web portals may not enjoy an exalted social status, but they have a much higher success rate as marriage mediators, which makes them commercial heavyweights. 

See the full Digital Journal article here.

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