ABOUT THIS BOOK
Making the Right Choice unravels the entangled relationship between marriage, morality, and the desire for modernity as it plays out in the context of middle-class status concerns and aspirations for upward social mobility within the Sinhala-Buddhist community in urban Sri Lanka. By focusing on individual life-histories spanning three generations, the book illuminates how narratives about a gendered self and narratives about modernity are mutually constituted and intrinsically tied to notions of agency. The book uncovers how "becoming modern" in urban Sri Lanka, rather than causing inter-generational conflict, is a collective aspiration realized through the efforts of bringing up educated and independent women capable of making "right" choices. The consequence of this collective investment is a feminist conundrum: agency does not denote the right to choose, but the duty to make the "right" choice; hence agency is experienced not as a sense of "freedom," but rather as a burden of responsibility.