Cultural Differences and Negotiations in Inter-Caste Marriages: A Study in Bengaluru


  • Prajwal N Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru, India



Inter-caste marriage, Ambedkar, Gender Identity, Caste Identity, Cultural differences, Children in inter-caste marriage


B R Ambedkar (1936) had suggested inter-caste marriages as one of the potential remedies to annihilate caste system. He later contradicted this stance in the latter half of his academic journey by comparing inter-caste marriages to „force-feeding and artificial ways. 'Even after 80 years, the society is still divided between the effects of inter-caste marriages on the centuries-old caste system. Inter-caste marriage in the country was not a very common event till the 2000s after which its instances have been steadily increasing as per the reports from both the IHDS (2011) and NFHS (2005-2006). The more critical aspect of this uptrend of inter-caste marriage should be the interaction and negotiation of cultural differences among couples during the process of union. This qualitative study among 20 individuals (10 couples) in Bengaluru, looks into the various ways in which the inter-caste couples adjust their lifestyles, make decisions about their cultural practices and their children‟s socialization. The assumptions are laid in the backdrop of B. R. Ambedkar‟s work on the caste system and the study attempted to understand the subtle evolution of caste in the exogamous marriages. The study has also attempted to preempt the variety of bearings such inter-caste marriages can have on the future of caste system.


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