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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Single and over 25! : South Asian women and marriage Thandi, Anita


For South Asian women marriage, within a normative period, is a given. Traditionally, rates for marriage have been very high, with very few women remaining unmarried, especially from choice. More and more women are delaying or rejecting marriage in North America, including within the ethnic communities. These women are facing pressure to marry from the family, community and often themselves. This research used in-depth interviews with ten South Asian single women to explore both the nature of the pressure and how they are dealing with it. Respondents were asked a series of open-ended questions around their experiences, perceptions, beliefs and attitudes around the pressure to marry by a certain age. Questions also focused on family background and lifestyle, looking for commonalities within the group. Following the philosophy and methodology of hermeneutic inquiry, results from this study yielded four categories of themes: a description of the pressures faced, strategies used to deal with the pressure, factors that increase or decrease the amount of pressure, and other-themes (i.e. attitudinal beliefs around marriage and family structure). Using qualitative verification procedures the results were shared both with the participants and a collaborative interpreter. The findings are discussed in relation to implications for counselling theory and practice, as well as future research.

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