Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Intercaste Marriages in India

About this project

Project description

Marriages in India are typically been arranged by parents and follow endogamous caste norms. Over the last 25 years marriage patterns have undergone significant changes with young Indians exerting more influence over their mate selection. Despite these changes, intercaste marriages in India are relatively rare and strongly discouraged by family and society. The importance of intercaste marriages for social inclusion and dismantling of exploitative gender and caste norms has been identified. However, we know little about psycho-social factors underpinning opposition to or acceptance of intercaste marriage. Taking a social psychological perspective and employing an intersectional lens combining caste, class, and gender, this project aims to investigate beliefs about and attitudes towards intercaste marriages in India. Research questions include:

Q. How do social identity, social norms and honour concerns shape mate selection preferences in India?
Q. How do people perceive intercaste marriages compared to intracaste marriages in terms of their stability and satisfaction?
Q. How are intercaste married couples relative to intracaste married couples perceived in terms of their competence, warmth and morality?
Q. How do intercaste couples navigate the interpersonal and intergroup differences in their everyday life?

A combination of qualitative (thematic analysis, discourse analysis) and quantitative methods (survey, experiments) will be used.


The project will uncover social psychological processes underpinning mate selection in India.

The project will deliver new insights and theory on group processes and intergroup relations in India leading to high quality academic publications.

This project will develop and draw upon Indian-specific theory and expertise around caste, leading to a new psychological understanding of caste based prejudices and processes

This project will result in the advanced training of a PhD student across India and Australia

The project will develop long-term international collaborations, leading to strengthened academic ties between Australia and India, as well as joint future grant applications, supervision, and publication

The studies contained within this project will involve cross-cultural comparisons across contexts where a multitude of social, religious, and ethnic groups co-exist.

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Excellent writing skills, Prior experience in statistical analysis, Exposure to qualitative methods.

Desireable capabilities

Background in social psychology, broad knowledge on caste and/or gender in India

Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)

Masters in social sciences, UGC – JRF or relevant funded fellowship

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Professor Fiona Barlow

School of Psychology
IITD Supervisor

Associate professor Yashpal Jogdand

Department of Humanities & Social Sciences