UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Phenomenological experiences of relationships among Indian females in caste-endogamous choice marriages Pradhan, Kesha


In India, social developments have facilitated changes in traditional arranged marriage customs and introduced an alternative option, choice marriage (Allendorf, 2013; Netting, 2010). Deviating from the cultural norm can have adverse consequences, with many individuals in choice marriages reporting negative consequences in their relationships (Raval, Raval, & Raj, 2010; Rocca, Rathod, Falle, Pande, & Krishnan, 2009). Women in choice marriages are at a particular risk for adverse consequence because having a choice marriage means that they are defying the common gender roles prescribed to them by Indian society (Allendorf, 2016). Nevertheless, individuals who engage in choice marriages rarely do so across caste lines. These marriages continue to be largely endogamous (Allendorf & Pandian, 2016; Dhar, 2013). To better understand the phenomenon of Indian women’s relationships after engaging in a caste-endogamous choice marriage, six Indian women were interviewed. The study used an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach, guided by the research question, “What is the meaning of close relationships for Indian females who are in caste-endogamous choice marriages?” Indian women identified relationships with their caregivers to have been most impacted by their caste-endogamous choice marriage. Common aspects of the experience of relationships after having a caste-endogamous choice marriage were identified from interviews. The results found that six themes were common to their relationship experiences after having a caste-endogamous choice marriage: (1) support, (2) connection, (3) responsibility for elders, (4) responsibility for marriage, (5) validation, and (6) respect. Implications of the study’s findings for counsellors who are working with Indian women in caste-endogamous choice marriages and their close relationships are addressed.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International