Constructing desirable brides: Membership categorization, medium of education and arranged marriages.

Sandhu, P. (2019). Constructing desirable brides: Membership categorization, medium of education and arranged marriages. Pragmatics and Society. Special Issue Edited by M. Prior and S. Talmy.

This article utilizes Membership Categorization Analysis (MCA) and Conversation Analysis (CA) to examine the entwined relationships among interaction, storytelling, and membership categorization. While demonstrating how a storytelling event within a qualitative research interview and the categories constructed within it are skillfully wielded by the teller to meet interactional exigencies, this single case analysis shows how members do culture-in-action (Hester and Eglin 1997) related to arranged marriage negotiations in the Indian context. A close examination of the emic categories produced in the interview reveals the social structures surrounding arranged marriages and the notion of ‘desirable’ brides. Illustrating the salience of medium-of-education (MoE) in the emic construction of desirable brides by the storyteller, the analysis shows the marginalization of Hindi-medium-educated (HME) women in the arranged marriage sphere.