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Marriage and Migration

Marriage is an important source of migration in India and it is the women who generally migrate. The proportion of women –out migration due to marriage at all the distance categories is relatively much higher in the short distance rural to rural stream of migration. The proportion of women out migration due to marriage is quite high in some of the Indian states like MP, Haryana, West Bengal and Orissa.

The important factor of marriage migration is the role of the social group and the village community. The Indian society is characterized by the principles of group endogamy and village exogamy. In the Hindu society the hypergamous tendency operates along with caste endogamy. This tendency is closely related with migration. The norms derived from those principles prescribe custom for marriage. The exogamous pattern of a marriage-taking place between the villages pushes a large proportion of female population to move from one village to another but within the boundary of the social group. The principle of village exogamy permits matrimonial selection from outside the village because of the widespread Hindu custom of taking a bride from another village. The principle of group endogamy permits matrimonial selection from within the social group. This makes women remain within the social boundary of her social or caste groups.

The social group endogamy restricts social mobility of women across the boundary of the social group but the village exogamy permits them to cross the spatial boundary of the village. This is the social basis of their migration from the village of origin to the village of destination. According to the marriage bond of patrilocal residence of patriarchal family the young bride has to move to the village of her destination. In such a family the young bride from the other village takes the lower social position in relation to other women in the household to which her husband belongs. The young bride who leaves the residence of her parents and comes to the patrilocal residence of her in laws in the nearby destination village becomes socially a migrant. The marriage migration may also be beyond the village community. The volume of female migrants due to marriage is quite high in urban areas also. However their stay in the city is for a short duration because the volume of their return migration from the destination city to their village of origin in the urban to rural migration is quite high. This is because the family's obligations exert greater social pressures, as a pull factor on newly married women is more than their men.