Caste and Its Effect Love, Marriage and Friendship in India: A Mixed Methods Study

Presented by:
Nandini Panchal, Jainika Siyani, & Shubham Moolchand Choudhary (Ahmedabad University)

The purpose of this study was to examine how Caste affected love, friendship, and marriage in Indian Society. India continues to be a caste-based society. While extreme forms of casteism such as untouchability have been banned, caste continues to play an important role in shaping social relationships. A mixed methods study using survey questionnaires and individual semi-structured interviews were conducted to understand perspectives of people from different backgrounds and ages on the effect of caste on social relationships. Both data sets found that participants claimed openness to intercaste relationships like love and friendship but articulated potential problems when it comes to marriage. In fact, the limited quantitative data on families of intercaste couples found that caste in marriages matters.