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The Colorblind ScreenTelevision in Post-Racial America$
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Sarah Nilsen and Sarah E. Turner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479809769

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479809769.001.0001

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Matchmakers and Cultural Compatibility

Matchmakers and Cultural Compatibility

Arranged Marriage, South Asians, and Racial Narratives on American Television

(p.261) 11 Matchmakers and Cultural Compatibility
The Colorblind Screen

Shilpa Davé

NYU Press

This chapter looks at the manner in which interracial relationships are rendered in media during a period defined by post-racial identity formations. It examines episodes from television shows that feature Indian weddings such as The Simpsons (1989–), The Office (2005–13), and Miss Match (2003–4) to argue that twenty-first-century portrayals of arranged marriages on television provides a narrative that dissolves rather than emphasizes the foreign nature of the arrangement process in American culture, and instead shows a compatibility between American and Indian ideas of matchmaking. In a post-racial world, the phrase “arranged marriage” is a racial and cultural marker of South Asian and particularly Indian culture, which makes it an appropriate and provocative topic of discussion. An examination of how racial narratives operate in a supposed post-racial world highlights the intersection of racial and gendered narratives about romance and marriage.

Keywords:   interracial relationships, media, identity formations, post-racial, Indian weddings, matchmaking, arranged marriage, racial narratives, romance, Indian culture

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