Globalization, Sharia Law, and Cultural Hybridity: A Case of Marriage Preferences of Young Bangladeshis


  • Piotr Szarota
  • Ewa Rahman
  • Katarzyna Cantarero


This contribution is one of the few psychological studies analyzing the marriage preferences of Bangladeshi urban youths. Our goal was to demonstrate that the line between traditional and “modern” marriage is no longer clear-cut and document the importance of social status and religion in shaping the life priorities of young, educated Bangladeshis. The sample (N = 205) consisted of unmarried university undergraduates aged 19-26. Participants were presented with three marriage scenarios: a traditional marriage arrangement, a hybrid model based on mutual attraction and family support, and finally, a Western-style love marriage. Generally, the Western marriage arrangements were rated more positively than the other models. Surprisingly, there were no significant differences between preferences for a hybrid and a traditional model. Additionally, participants from a higher social milieu with lower levels of religiosity accepted love marriages more eagerly than middle-class students.