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Wednesday 8 July 2020

Solent research fellow, Dr Komali Kantamaneni explores the effects the climate crisis is having on societal norms - in particular, arranged marriages.

The devastating effects of climate change on the natural environment are already well known. Temperatures are increasing. The frequency of extreme weather events is on the up. Sea levels are rising. But the social and cultural effects of the climate crisis are discussed less often. Is the climate crisis already changing societal norms? And if so, how?

These were the sorts of questions that took us to the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where we interviewed over 1,000 farmers between November 2018 and June 2019. Our research was initially focused on examining the increasing vulnerability of agriculture along these coastal regions of southern India. We found strong evidence of the negative effects of climate change on the agricultural sector, with lives and incomes becoming much more precarious.

But we also had some unexpected findings – namely, that this precarity is affecting marriage patterns. Worsening climatic conditions, we found, are leading to a marriage crisis.

Read the article in full on The Conversation