Matrimonial advertisements in the light of Pierre Bourdieu’s capitals

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201901291196
Title: Matrimonial advertisements in the light of Pierre Bourdieu’s capitals
Author: Lehtonen, Inka
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, Department of World Cultures
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: In my Master’s Thesis, I analyse matrimonial advertisements published in two newspapers from 2011-12 in order to shed light on how Indian middle-class individuals and families describe their social identity and try to get more resources, “capitals” in Pierre Bourdieu’s terms, through marital alliances. I have two sets of data: one from an English newspaper published in a big metropolitan city and the other from a Hindi language newspaper published in a slightly smaller city, both from North India. I attempt to compare these two sets of data. My research method is qualitative content analysis. The theoretical perspective of this study is based on the different types of capital developed by Pierre Bourdieu. I try to find all the different factors mentioned in the advertisements which can be used as capital in the marriage market and in the other fields where the struggle for social distinction takes place. These factors are used by the advertisers to claim belonging to some groups whilst marking their difference from other groups, and to show that they hold valuable capitals. The families that post matrimonial ads in newspapers have to portray themselves and their candidate (bride or bridegroom) as an opportunity to increase and convert capitals. Education was the most frequently mentioned factor that can be seen to bring status. Everybody should be educated: grooms, brides and even the future parents-in-law. Occupation is not a quality of men only anymore but women too seem to have entered the labour force, especially in the sample from an English language newspaper. Software engineer, doctor, engineer and entrepreneur are some examples of prestigious occupations. Employment in big multinational firms and other reputed private companies is highly valued in today’s society. Descriptions of family status, such as “cultured family” or “respected family”, and parents and siblings’ occupations are frequently listed by the advertisers. The persons living abroad enjoy prestige. Other things that constitute one’s social status include property, caste, families’ social networks, values, lifestyle, religion, ethnic and linguistic group as well as dowries, gifts and lavish weddings.
URI: URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201901291196
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/298599
Date: 2018
Subject: Indian middle class
Pierre Bourdieu
cultural capital
North India
urban middle class
class
Discipline: Etelä‑Aasian tutkimus
South Asian Studies
Sydasienforskning


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