In this program, Roksana Badruddoja speaks to the issue of South Asian American women constructing diasporic identities that simultaneously assert a sense of belonging to the locality in which they grew up and also proclaim a "difference" that marks their experiences of being an "Other." This presentation explores one of the spaces of cathexis in which South Asian American women demonstrate the flexibility of cultural identity, both in its grounding in a specific political economy and its responsiveness to situational factors that allow individuals and groups to make cultural choices, including marriage. While values surrounding marriage prove to be a contentious arena due to the ways in which South Asian women's bodies are raced, cultured, and gendered within American nationalism, South Asian American women, nevertheless, submerge the image of universal "arranged marriage" (often falsely conflated with forced marriage), challenging the Orientalist cultural conquest.
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