Marital mobility in the Bangladeshi middle class: matchmaking strategies and transnational networks
Publisher© 2014 Taylor & Francis Online
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CitationSabur, S. (2014). Marital Mobility in the Bangladeshi Middle Class: Matchmaking Strategies and Transnational Networks. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 37(4), 586–604. http://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2014.954757
In this paper, I take marriage as the point of entry for exploring social alliances amongst an affluent cluster of the Bangladeshi middle class. Using semi-structured interviews, biographies, family histories, intergenerational data, matrimonial biodata, chat histories, group discussions and blogs, I traced marital genealogies from Bangladesh to Britain in order to understand the strength of their transnational network. I argue that homogamy has become instrumental for this class in consolidating its power as new networks are forged through marriage and in which women play a significant role. These alliances result in the conflation of different kinds of capital, generating a convergence of influence and access among individuals that transcends national boundaries, reconfiguring the group as a cosmopolitan class. This provides a novel perspective on how Bangladeshi women of this class exercise power in marital negotiations while navigating normative practices and patriarchal structures.