Modernity, Information and Communication Technology and Indian Weddings

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 10:42
Oral Presentation
Abha CHAUHAN, University of Jammu, India
The pervasive use of technology in communication is an important characteristic of modernity. The two important properties of modernity according to Anthony Giddens are: (i) disembeddedness from time and space; and (ii) reliance on expert systems which we must trust even if they are not present in time and space. Though there is uncertainty in modern societies, the reflexivity and re-embedding mechanisms help in utilization of rules and resources that constitute a social structure. The structures then become flexible to accommodate changes in the condition of modernity. It is here that information and communication technology (ICT) find space for its maximum utilization. In modern societies, ICT is omnipresent, with over three billion people having access to the Internet. In 1990s, the Internet became one of the most powerful trademarks of ICT with immense reach and wide acceptance across the countries within a short span. The world indeed became closer and shorter with almost merging of time and space that revolutionized many aspects of social life in Indian society, weddings being the most important one. The media became active and several sites were opened up that offered matrimonial alliances. Information on wedding places, decoration, designer clothes, jewelery, food etc. began to be shared through communicative technology. The traditional rituals and ceremonies acquired a modern form. This paper explores the use of ICT for Indian weddings in the context of modernity through ‘Content Analyses’ of some of the important matrimonial and related sites. It focuses on the changes that have come about in the Indian weddings by analyzing the process of mate selection, marriage functions, ritual performances, wedding dresses and food preparation.