ArticlePDF Available

Perceptions of Arranged Marriages by Young Pakistani Muslim Women Living in a Western Society

Authors:

Abstract

Exploration of attitudes towards arranged marriages were examined from the perspective of second generation Pakistani Muslim women living in a western society. Symbolic Interactionism and Interpretive Interactionism were the theoretical and methodological considerations respectively. 20 single females (aged 16-30 yrs), living in Canada or the United States, were interviewed utilizing an unstructured schedule interview. The main research question addressed the role of western values in influencing mate-selection practices. Other questions centered around the Pakistani women's definition of the situation with regards to arranged marriages. The results indicated that even though Pakistani parents, especially fathers, are perceived to be resistant to change, western values are playing a determining role in the process of mate-selection for second generation Pakistani Muslim females. Most Pakistani women are adapting and modifying attitudes which reflect the ideas of western ideology of greater self-expression and personal gratification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Perceptions of arranged marriages by young Pakistani Muslim women living in a...
Arshia U Zaidi; Muhammad Shuraydi
Journal of Comparative Family Studies; Autumn 2002; 33, 4; Canadian Periodicals
pg. 495
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
... The domain of boys was outside the home where they learned to achieve and be self-reliant, becoming the breadwinners of the family." [83]. ...
... Previous studies have established that strong religious beliefs limit women's access to sexual knowledge, restrict sexual activities and behavior, and can contribute to sexual dysfunction, guilt and anxiety, or shame [67][68][69][70]. Zaidi et al. (2014) reported that lower religiosity is related to better approval of and involvement with intimate cross-gender relationships [83]. Furthermore, in Muslim Pakistani societies, there is also an intolerance for any LGBTQ+ relationships because homosexuality is considered haram. ...
Article
Full-text available
Immigrant adolescents make up a substantial proportion of newcomers to Canada. Most newcomer youth from South Asia aged 15 to 24 are from racialized “visible minority” backgrounds. The sexual health needs of female immigrant adolescents in Canada have been largely unmet and have increased in magnitude over the last few years. For immigrant female adolescents, the silence around issues of sexuality needs can affect their physical, emotional, sexual health, and overall well-being as well as their ability to reach their full potential. Evidence suggests that immigrant adolescents lack sexual and reproductive health knowledge and use fewer sexual health-related services and sex education resources than non-immigrant youth. In Pakistani immigrant adolescents, this difference appears to be associated with socio-cultural and religious practices. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore the experience of developing sexuality and its relationship to well-being in middle- to late-female adolescents of Pakistani-descent, living in a large urban area in Canada. The study aimed to establish space for dialogue and to bridge the perceived cultural divide on issues of sexuality using the postmodern feminist lens, which often arises between individuals from different cultural backgrounds. Using the interpretive descriptive methodology, a purposive sample of 21 female adolescents who were of first- or second-generation Pakistan-descent was obtained. Participants included female adolescents aged from 14 to 19 years. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview guide and a timeline. A total of 21 first interviews and seven follow up interviews were conducted. The narratives and timelines presented in this study tell the story of female Pakistani adolescents, their narratives, and the timelines reflect the complexities of the sexuality of female adolescents and how they perceive and attribute meanings to their experiences. The study found that living in a bicultural world can cause significant stress and anxiety among female adolescents, especially when making personal life decisions related to sexuality. Moreover, silence around all aspects of female sexuality negatively affects the capacity for desire and pleasure. In addition, the intersection of gender and patriarchy have created layers of power and oppression in adolescent lives that tightly control their sexuality. The participants’ stories reveal the complex interaction of factors that influence the behavior of female adolescents related to sexuality and sexual health. These findings establish the need for cultural awareness while viewing each girl’s experience in relation to the intersectionality of social spheres such as race, ethnicity, culture, and religion. Finally, this study provides implications to policymakers to revise the existing policies and create youth-friendly policies for immigrant youth to draw attention to the hidden voices of female adolescents and increase the awareness of ways to address issues arising in evolving sexuality.
... Dominant discourses construct the South Asian woman as a good wife and mother (Kallivayalil 2010), thus socialising women to value success in relationships at all costs can be a form of coercion (Anitha and Gill 2009). Scholars have highlighted the contrast between the individualistic notion of choosing one's own marriage partner and the family-based system of influence (Pande 2015;Zaidi and Shuraydi 2002). Family-based systems include "arranged marriages" as a way of affirming an intimate relationship and this form of marriage is practiced by many diasporic communities in the UK including Middle Eastern, Turkish, African, Chinese, Japanese, and Jewish communities as well as those of South Asian heritage (Siddiqui 2003;Zaidi and Shuraydi 2002). ...
... Scholars have highlighted the contrast between the individualistic notion of choosing one's own marriage partner and the family-based system of influence (Pande 2015;Zaidi and Shuraydi 2002). Family-based systems include "arranged marriages" as a way of affirming an intimate relationship and this form of marriage is practiced by many diasporic communities in the UK including Middle Eastern, Turkish, African, Chinese, Japanese, and Jewish communities as well as those of South Asian heritage (Siddiqui 2003;Zaidi and Shuraydi 2002). Arranged marriage can serve a societal objective to secure and preserve status within the family, kinship, and communities, and thus is "a key instrument for economic, social, and political stability in South Asian communities" (Bhopal 2011, p. 434). ...
Article
Full-text available
Researching South Asian women who have departed social norms and married outside the social conventions of their culture widens our understanding and knowledge on the topic of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). This paper will investigate how the women participating in the research navigated the socialisation of arranged marriage and expectations on them as women, and how this influenced their decisions to remain in violent and abusive relationships. Often without family support or the “safety net” of an arranged marriage, the women stayed in abusive relationships longer than they would have done if the marriage had been arranged. The findings show that the women’s experiences of leaving the relationship are mediated by the context of forming an intimate relationship. A qualitative research approach using Black Feminist Standpoint Epistemology employed thematic analysis to give voice to South Asian women’s experiences and insights into their experiences of, and responses to, leaving abusive relationships. The analysis shows that women’s agentic act of choosing a partner became the very barrier to leaving the relationship if it turned violent and abusive.
... The individual's interests, needs, and happiness are considered secondary to the interests of the family and community.' [21] Several studies have pointed out that arranged marriage, nonetheless, functions as 'a key instrument for economic, social, and political stability in South Asian communities'. [22] Predominantly, Pakistani culture also abides by the model of arranged marriage. ...
... Customary practices similar to that of bakabuang are not a new phenomenon. Although research of bakabuang is scarce, previous studies of similar practices such as nikah halala have focused on comparing such customs to the perspective of Islamic Law and customary Indonesian Positive Laws enacted by the Indonesian governmental authority (Blenkhorn, 2002;Carmichael, 2011;Fincham et al., 2007;Islam & Ismail, 2008;Susanti et al., 2019;Walseth, 2016;Zaidi & Shuraydi, 2002). Wulandari (2016) examined the validity of a cino buto or cina buta [unlawfully marring a thrice-divorced Muslim woman] marriage in Tanah Datar West Sumatra. ...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Bakabuang, more commonly known as cino buto, is a traditional yet destructive custom that is still practiced by the Minangkabau people by which an informally divorced couple may reconcile. This study aims to analyze the understanding of the bakabuang custom and its impact on women and children, while exploring the role and function of Tungku Tigo Sajarangan [community leaders] on the custom of bakabuang in the Minangkabau culture. This research uses a qualitative approach employing interview data, observation, and documentation. Data sources are ex-husbands and ex-wives, kadi [marriage guardians], community members, and traditional and community leaders. The results showed that bakabuang was one option offered to a married couple to reconcile after the husband had pronounced Triple Divorce/Talaq-e-Biddat/Triple Talaq [an instant irrevocable divorce that is not necessarily analogous with judgments and perceptions of Islamic scholars or jurists]. Bakabuang is usually done at the requests of children, families, and often, the couples themselves. The findings further showed that the community does not recognize that bakabuang is prohibited nor violates Islam's foundational teachings. Some claimed that bakabuang is an acceptable solution in Islam for married couples who want to reconcile but have already executed a Triple Divorce. It was also found that the impact of such practices is detrimental to women and children as most Ninik Mamak [clan leaders or elders] are aware of the bakabuang tradition. Yet, they are powerless to stop it on account of social repercussions if the practice is banned. Just as the Ninik Mamak cannot do much in responding to bakabuang, scholars are powerless; they can only convey the negative impact of bakabuang. The study recommends that the bakabuang tradition be considered a crime against humanity and classified as covert human and sex trafficking of women by the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia.
... Would-be rejectors often experience guilt (Baumeister et al., 1993;Bohns & DeVincent, 2019;Perilloux & Buss, 2008) and concerns about hurting the suitor's feelings (Joel et al., 2014). In many non-Western contexts, it is common for people's self-selection into long-term relationships to be relatively limited, instead committing themselves to the partners chosen with strong influence from their parents or other family members (Apostolou, 2007;Buunk et al., 2010;Walker et al., 2011;Zaidi & Shuraydi, 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
Dating is widely thought of as a test phase for romantic relationships, during which new romantic partners carefully evaluate each other for long-term fit. However, this cultural narrative assumes that people are well equipped to reject poorly suited partners. In this article, we argue that humans are biased toward pro-relationship decisions—decisions that favor the initiation, advancement, and maintenance of romantic relationships. We first review evidence for a progression bias in the context of relationship initiation, investment, and breakup decisions. We next consider possible theoretical underpinnings—both evolutionary and cultural—that may explain why getting into a relationship is often easier than getting out of one, and why being in a less desirable relationship is often preferred over being in no relationship at all. We discuss potential boundary conditions that the phenomenon may have, as well as its implications for existing theoretical models of mate selection and relationship development.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I draw upon the empirical literatures on arranged marriages among South Asian Muslim immigrants in the U.S. and U.K. in order to (a) provide a multidimensional model of the marital formation process that challenges the binary between arranged and love marriage and to (b) propose how trust operates as a general mechanism to explain both micro‐level personal, interpersonal, and institutional motivations and negotiations around different marriage models as well as macro‐level shifts in marital practices over time.
Article
Using the “complex religion” framework, this article shows the importance of religion while recognizing how race, national origin, and geopolitics shape how Muslims navigate their romantic lives. Based on 50 in-depth interviews of South Asian Muslim immigrants in Canada on interfaith and interracial romance, I show that taken-for-granted labels “Muslim” and “South Asian” are ambiguous even for the participants as they navigate the search for compatible partners. Race and ethnicity are important components alongside religion and sect that together give meaning to negotiations about who is a “real” Muslim. And despite a sense of panethnic desi groupness, religion, sect, and nationality create fissures that challenge and limit notions of brown solidarity on the ground, even for children of immigrants. Finally, I identify how another important yet overlooked dimension of Muslimness—global geopolitics—shapes participants’ romantic pursuits. Overall, this article problematizes current approaches to studying Muslim immigrant experiences in the West.
Book
Full-text available
This study examines processes of early marriage decision-making processes within families and across different caste groups in rural Punjab, Pakistan, and analyses these dynamics in relation to state and non-state women’s empowerment and gender equality policies and programmes. The study draws on feminist standpoint theory, Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Framework Theory and Bowen’s Family Systems Theory. Ethnographic methods were used to gather primary data over a period of nine months. In addition, relevant policy and legislative state-level documents and project documents of two non-state organizations working in the research village were analysed using feminist critical frame analysis. My analysis reveals the central role played by paternal grandmothers in early marriage decision-making processes, but only to the extent that these met the approval of paternal grandfathers, fathers, and elder brothers of the intended bride. A bride’s mother only seemed to participate in marriage decision-making if they were financially independent or had grown-up and ‘earning’ sons. On occasion, the intended bride could participate in decisions ‘when’ to marry, while intended grooms could indicate their ‘readiness’ for marriage, thereby controlling not only decisions as to ‘when’ to marry but, at times, also ‘whom’ to marry. I conclude by arguing that to develop more comprehensive understanding of early marriage decision-making processes, it is necessary to (i) look beyond the father, and beyond the family, and (ii) attend to shifts in women’s relative power as their position in the family changes. I offer a series of recommendations to better align state and non-state policies and interventions with early marriage decision-making processes.
Article
Full-text available
Abstrak. Perjodohan (arranged marriages) adalah suatu pernikahan yang diatur oleh orang tua atau kerabat dekat untuk pasangan, dan biasanya dilakukan pada perempuan remaja akhir yang nantinya akan memerlukan banyak penyesuaian setelah menikah. Tujuan dari penelitian ini untuk mengidentifikasi dan mendesripsikan secara utuh gambaran penyesuaian diri yang dialami oleh perempuan yang menikah di usia remaja akhir khususnya individu yang dijodohkan dengan calon suaminya. Subjek dalam penelitian ini adalah 2 porang perempuan yang menikah pada usia remaja akhir melalui proses perjodohan. Tekinik pengambilan sampel dalam penelitian in adalah teknik purposive sampling. Metode yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah pendekatan kualitatif dengan metode fenomenologis yang dilakukan melalui wawancara langsung dengan subjek. Hasil penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa subjek memiliki penyesuaian diri baik terhadap pernikahan yang dijalani meskipun pernikahan tersebut merupakan pilihan orangtua dan bukan keinginan sendiri (perjodohan). Penelitian ini dapat bermanfat bagi subjek dan pembaca untuk mengevaluasi pernikahan yang mereka jalani.Kata kunci: penyesuaian diri, Remaja akhir, Perjodohan
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the relationship of women's role and status in society to their marriage timing in five non-industrial Asian countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia). The role and status of women, conceptualized from acquired characteristics such as education and occupation before marriage, determines the largest degree of variance explained in timing of marriage. Even after socio-economic and ethno-religious variables are statistically controlled, the net effects of women's education and occupation on age at marriage are found to be positive and substantial in magnitude. Additional evidence indicates that country differences in female age at marriage are also conditioned by the stage of a country's socio-economic transition.
Article
This paper deals with the growth of family studies and various other aspects of family in Bangladesh. The studies on family depict the picture about the changing family situation in Bangladesh over time. It is, therefore, an attempt to understand the dynamics of the rural society of Bangladesh with particular reference to the institution of family. The paper also provides a demographic profile with regard to family situation and it describes some other related issues including the pattern of rural social organization of Bangladesh. Finally, the paper suggests to undertake further studies on some important aspects of family for a better understanding of the family situation with particular reference to Bangladesh.
Article
To study the similarities as well as differences in the sexual and premarital attitudes of the younger Iranian men and women and Western students, a Persian revision of the attitude inventory used by Schofield was given to a sample of Iranian college students (199 men and 193 women) prior to the onset of Islamic revolution in this country. Present findings confirm, as expected, similarities on some dimensions as well as differences on others between Iranian men and women and between Iranian and British samples in Schofield's study. Iranian men and women differed significantly on their attitudes towards premarital sex for men as indicated by a higher percentage of women who agreed on premarital sex for male peers but not for Iranian women. The Iranian sample compared with their British peers represented more conservative sexual and more traditional premarital attitudes as indicated by a higher proportion of agree-responses to statements such as a bad reputation would result from premarital sex for women or sexual freedom leads to trouble. A double standard of sexual morality was found among Iranian subjects, virginity was given a high value, and loyalty to the family was considered important.
Article
This paper examines three questions relative to mate selection in contemporary Turkey: Among which population segments are love match versus traditional arranged marriages found? What impact does self-selection of mate have on conjugal homogamy? and, What impact does the type of marriage arrangement have on marriage behavior? Sample survey data from Ankara, Turkey, were utilized in the analysis. Results suggest that the adoption of innovation in marriage patterns is greatest among the more modern segments of the population, that homogamy is as great among self-selected as among kin-selected spouses, and that the type of marriage arrangement has a small but independent impact on marriage behavior. A sequential model of the development of modernism in marital behavior was suggested.
Article
This paper reports findings from a study of socialization of children of the immigrant Indian and Pakistani families in a city of western Canada. Values and ideals emphasized by parents in socializing their second-generation Canadian children and the children's reaction to these values were examined. In a highly selective approach to socialization, the immigrant families have willingly accepted changes in more pragmatic aspects of life but have rather strongly resisted alterations in their core values. This selective emphasis has widened the apparent generation gap and in certain cases has given rise to value conflict. As traditional social control measures weaken, and as the demand by children for greater freedom increases, some fundamental modifications in other important values and ideals, e.g., respect for age and authority, may be experienced.
Article
In this study, two samples were taken of graduate students at two of the major universities in West Pakistan, the University of Karachi and the University of the Punjab at Lahore, in an effort to determine how the students, as potential initiators of social change, would respond to the traditional norms of mate selection in their society. The norms call for marriages arranged by their families, frequently without the principals meeting before marriage. An analysis of the responses to a series of questions offering various options in decision making in mate selection indicates that male students took a more liberal position and are more likely to play the role of initiators of social change than are the women, while the Karachi students appear to take a somewhat more liberal stance than do their peers at the University of the Punjab. Attitudes toward the importance of an engagement were almost evenly divided between those who felt it was important and those who did not. Somewhat more Karachi males felt an engagement was important than did their female classmates, while there was no difference between the attitudes of the Lahore males and females. It appears that an important segment of the student body supports the traditional system of mate selection in Pakistan, while a significant number appear ready to challenge the traditional norms. The seeds of social change are, without question, present.