Iranian Marriage Proposal (Khaastgaari) in Light of Critical Discourse Analysis

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 English Language Center, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran

2 Department of Foreign Languages, Sheikhbahaee University, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

As opposed to western cultures, marriage proposal in Iran takes place in a formal family-gathering called Khaastgaari ceremony and develops through negotiations between the prospective couples’ families. There are embedded factors that invisibly control these negotiations; thus, word choices and behaviors of participants mirror the invisible sources of domination that govern these negotiations. Drawing on the definition of discourse as any meaningful symbolic behavior, this study aims to probe into the deep layers of discoursal exchanges in Khaastgaari events and address the salient sociocultural sources of domination that govern this ancient Iranian tradition. The data obtained from observation of typical Khaastgaari events were analyzed through a thematic analysis and interpreted in light of insights gleaned from Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The findings revealed that discoursal exchanges in Khaastgaari events represent the traditional superiority of family and parents over children and also reproduce dominant gender relations in Iranian social life. Besides, seeking prestige and observance of religious norms are other sources of sociocultural prescription for participants’ discoursal moves.

Keywords


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