Care and Resistance
In their stereotypical forms, love-marriages are self-arranged and often take place across caste or community boundaries. Arranged marriages are parentally arranged and usually conform firmly to notions of caste endogamy, except in instances of love-cum-arranged marriage where the parents may agree to publicly endorse the love-choice of their child. “Forced marriages” are those in which one or the other parties to the marriage do not give their free consent. In this paper, I consider the spectrum of care within which British South Asians arrange a child’s marriage such that what is outwardly an act of care is experienced as an act of force, be this physical violence or emotional coercion. I also examine the ways in which the child’s rejection of this arrangement is sometimes nevertheless re-framed as a form of consent. Drawing on ethnographic research with those who have experienced a “forced marriage” I examine the processes through which care is constructed and comes to be re-imagined by looking at the ways in which care articulates questions of choice, marriage, gender and sexuality.