cover of book
 

Making the Right Choice: Narratives of Marriage in Sri Lanka
by Asha L. Abeyasekera
Rutgers University Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-1-9788-1034-1 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-1031-0 | Paper: 978-1-9788-1030-3
Library of Congress Classification HQ666.8.S72A32 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 306.81095493

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS
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.

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