- 269 pages : illustrations (some colour) , portraits ; 29cm.
- Additional Authors
- Alexiou, Petro,
- Summary: The book Promised Brides constitutes the most systematic and coherent research in the phenomenon of promised brides as practiced during the first generation of Greek migration to Australia between 1950 and 1975. The study attempts its interpretation from the perspective of oral history, gender studies and cultural-critical theory. Its primary material is drawn from personal testimonies given in the form of interviews to the writer by a number of the brides themselves. The texts of these oral testimonies constitute the central core through which the experience of migration is investigated from the perspective of women, with special emphasis on the institution of arranged marriages. This was an almost undisputed law and custom during the early post-war migration wave out of Greece. The book seeks to cover an immense gap in the existing bibliography by closely studying the individuality of the women themselves and the way they felt, reacted and experienced the reality of an arranged marriage with a man they had not ever seen before. Simultaneously, in its introduction it analyses the experience of migration itself which represents the social and psychological background of all the testimonies and lived experiences. By drawing from their stories, we are able to re-interpret the emotional realities of many 'promised brides' and ultimately see them as individual personalities, by following their personal adventure, exploring their existential ambivalence and finally understanding through them the social, cultural and political function of the institution of arranged marriage. The study constitutes a fresh radical approach to a practice that defined the first generation of migrants and determined the cultural cohesion of the Greek-Australian community. It also makes a significant contribution to the overall studies regarding the Greek-Australian experience beginning with a historiographical approach from below and giving voice to all those women, whose life-stories were always excluded from the official narratives of migration