Degree

BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)

Department

Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Date of Submission

2021-06-26

Advisor

Rahma Muhammad Mian

Committee

Shehram Mokhtar

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access

Abstract

Pakistan has begun to experience a change in the matchmaking process for marriage. The process has started to become more digitalized via the use of marriage technologies such as Online Matrimonial Forums (OMFs) on Facebook. This study will look at how and why marriage technologies are changing and challenging the matrimonial tradition and culture of Pakistan through a detailed analysis of Skip the Rishta Aunty (STRA), an OMF. The project will explore the shift to online matchmaking and how the youth of Pakistan is adopting and adapting to this change as well as how diasporic influences are changing the matrimonial culture. This study is unique because there is no literature available in Pakistan’s context on this topic. Therefore, a digital ethnography of STRA and in-depth interviews were conducted to obtain primary data. The internet has facilitated the shift to OMFs, as it overcame various barriers and made it possible for Facebook to become an OMF. This contributed to the process of reterritorialization for diasporic individuals and permeated the domains of life. The internet and marriage technologies also changed how traditional matchmaking means were used and produced discourse on compatible and ideal partner standards for marriage. Moreover, cultural convergence coupled with social-appropriation of marriage technologies played a part in normalizing the usage of online matchmaking means in Pakistan. This is not to say that social dynamics have not changed and women have not obtained some agency and freedom to choose who they wish to marry. When it came to the impact of marriage technologies on users’ mental health and their perceptions towards them, individual differences were present.

Pages

89

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