Love in India: Politics, Desires, and Sexualities (Hardcover)

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This book provides a comprehensive perspective on discourses of love in contemporary India. It focuses on the multiple sites and articulations through which "love" is constructed, articulated and experienced in India. Overwhelmingly, scholarship on love, especially in India, situates and analyses it in the context of marriage, family and beyond. It reviews those frameworks but goes beyond them by drawing attention to a range of sites, analytical prisms and everyday experiences of love, including the impact of consumer society, technologies and notions of citizenship and the nation at large. The book comprises seven chapters based on ethnographies to provide a wide-ranging account of the multiplicity of discursive formations and contexts, withing which love plays a crucial role in the everyday lives of contemporary Indians from a wide range of backgrounds. The introduction presents an overview of the literatures on Love and Marriage in South Asia and the current debates in popular media that are relevant to them.
Chapter 2 discusses the extensive literatures on love and marriage in South Asia with special attention to the way these debates are today revised in the light of youth cultures, love outside marriage and a broader debate on sexualities, including the literatures on LGBTQ identities in India.
Chapter 3 provides an insight into those meanings of love that are often not immediately associated with notions of individual will. As such, this chapter discusses those interpretations of love that are embedded in family structures, roles and responsibilities, religion and culture.Chapter 4 presents an analysis of how love constitutes gender and gender shapes experiences and expectations of love; in this chapter, the focus will be to unpack constructions of 'appropriate' masculinities and femininities for an urban and modern India.
Chapter 5 traces how the political economy, as it were, of love, with special attention to its practices of consumption and circulation.
Chapter 6 addresses how debates on love are re-situated within the notion of the new India, gendered ideas about modern self-hood, the revision of the link between love and marriage, divorce and cohabitation, and the complex relationship between notions of 'modern' and globalized forms of intimacies and nationhood as based on South Asian exceptionalism, heteronormative sexuality within marriage and discourses on communal family-making, tradition and moralities.
Chapter 7 brings together all major themes discussed in the book, and contextualizes contemporary public discourse on love in India, to the main arguments of the book.

About the Author

Henrike Donner is Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, working on gender, kinship, class and urban politics. Parul Bhandari is Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies at St. Edmund's College, University of Cambridge, working on family, marriage, gender, and social class and inequalities..
Product Details
ISBN: 9781839988899
ISBN-10: 1839988894
Publisher: Anthem Press
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2025
Pages: 250
Language: English