Advertisement

South Asian Immigration to United States: A Brief History Within the Context of Race, Politics, and Identity

  • Sunil Bhatia
  • Anjali Ram
Chapter
Part of the Cross-Cultural Research in Health, Illness and Well-Being book series (CCRHIWB)

Abstract

In this chapter we focus on key themes that impact South Asian diasporic communities in general. First, we briefly chart the South Asian immigrant journeys to the U.S. from the late 1800s through the watershed mid-century immigration policies to contemporary times. Second, we examine the contradictions between the model minority discourses that are sustained within the South Asian diaspora and the racism and discrimination experienced by South Asian immigrants particularly in the context of post 9/11 America. Finally, we conclude by looking at some of the ways in which first, second, and subsequent generations in the South Asian diaspora have creatively and politically engaged with their identity.

Keywords

South Asian South Asian American Immigration Model minority myth 

References

  1. Afzal, A. (2015). Lone star Muslims: Transnational lives and the south Asian experience in Texas. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Ahluwalia, M. K. (2011). Holding my breath: The experience of being Sikh after 9/11. Traumatology, 17(3), 41–46.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1534765611421962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bald, V. (2013). Bengali Harlem and the lost histories of South Asian Americans. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bald, V. (2015). American orientalism. Dissent, 62(2), 23–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhachu, P. (1985). Twice migrants: East African Sikh settlers in Britain. London/New York: Tavistock Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Bhatia, S. (2007). American karma: Race, culture, and identity in the Indian diaspora. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bhatia, S. (2010). Interpreting the meanings of schooling, hybridity, and multicultural citizenship in diaspora communities. Yearbook of the National Society for the Student of Education, 109(1), 66–81.Google Scholar
  8. Bhatia, S. (2011). Lost in translation: Cultural hybridity, acculturation, and human development. Human Development, 54(6), 400–407.  https://doi.org/10.1159/000334730.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bhatia, S., & Ram, A. (2001). Rethinking “acculturation” in relation to diasporic cultures and postcolonial identities. Human Development, 44(1), 1–17.  https://doi.org/10.1159/000057036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bhatia, S., & Ram, A. (2004). Culture, hybridity and the dialogical self: Cases from the south Asian-American diaspora. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 11, 224–240.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327884mca1103_4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bhattacharjee, A. (1992). The habit of ex-nomination: Nation, woman and the Indian immigrant bourgeoisie. Public Culture, 5(1), 19–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bhattacharya, G., & Tazuko, S. (2009). Experiences of aging among immigrants from India to the United States: Social work practice in a global context. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 52(5), 445–462.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01634370902983112.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Brah, A. (1996). Cartographies of diaspora: Contesting identities. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Chou, R. S., & Feagin, J. R. (2008). The myth of model minority: Asian Americans facing racism. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Das Gupta, M. (2006). Unruly immigrants: Rights, activism, and transnational south Asian politics in the United States. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dutta, M. J., & Jamil, R. (2013). Health at the Margins of Migration: Culture-Centered Co-Constructions Among Bangladeshi Immigrants. Health Communication, 28(2), 170–182.Google Scholar
  17. Flores, W. V. (2003). New Citizens, New Rights. Latin American Perspectives, 30(2), 295–308.Google Scholar
  18. George, R. M. (1997). “From expatriate aristocrat to immigrant nobody”: South Asian racial strategies in the southern Californian context. Diaspora, 6(1), 27–59.  https://doi.org/10.1353/dsp.1997.0017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hannun, J. (2013, May 30). Why Indian Americans d-o-m-i-n-a-t-e spelling bees. Foreign Policy. Retrieved from http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/why-indian-americans-d-o-m-i-n-a-t-e-spelling-bees/
  20. Helm, J. (2015, May 25). Indian Americans dominate national spelling bees then slurred on internet. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https:// www.washingtonpost.com/local/indian-americans-dominate-national-spelling-bee-then-slurred-on-internet/2015/05/25/ 8ec01098-f414-11e4-bcc4-e8141e5eb0c9_story.html.Google Scholar
  21. Helweg, A. W., & Helweg, U. (1990). An immigrant success story: East Indians in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  22. Isin, E. F., & Turner, B. S. (2007). Investigating citizenship: An agenda for citizenship studies. Citizenship Studies, 11, 5–17.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13621020601099773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jensen, J. M. (1988). Passage from India: Asian Indian immigrants in North America. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Khandelwal, M. S. (2002). Becoming American, being Indian: An immigrant community in. New York City/Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Koshy, S. (1998). Category crisis: South Asian Americans and questions of race and ethnicity. Diaspora, 7(3), 285–319.  https://doi.org/10.1353/dsp.1998.0013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lee, J. H. X. (2015). History of Asian Americans: Exploring diverse roots. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  27. Leonard, K. I. (1992). Making ethnic choices: California’s Punjabi Mexican Americans. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Mahalingam, R. (2012). Misidentification, misembodiment and the paradox of being a model minority. Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory, 8(3), 299–304.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17448727.2012.752679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mahalingam, R., Philip, C., & Balan, S. (2006). Cultural psychology of marginality: Exploring the immigrant psychology of Indian diaspora. In R. Mahalingam (Ed.), Cultural psychology of immigrants (pp. 151–168). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  30. Maira, S. M. (2002). Desis in the house: Indian American youth culture in. New York City/Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Maira, S. (2004). Imperial feelings: Youth culture, citizenship, and globalization. In M. Suárez-Orozco & D. Qin-Hilliard (Eds.), Globalization: Culture and education in the new millennium (pp. 203–234). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  32. Maira, S. (2009). Missing: Youth, citizenship, and empire after 9/11. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Maira, S. (2011). Islamophobia and the war on terror. Youth, citizenship, and dissent. In L. Esposito & I. Kalin (Eds.), Islamophobia: The challenge of pluralism in the 21st century (pp. 109–126). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Mathew, B. (2008). Taxi! Cabs and capitalism in. New York City/Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Mazumdar, S. (1989). Racist responses to racism: The Aryan myth and south Asians in the United States. South Asia Bulletin, 9(1), 47–55.Google Scholar
  36. Miller, T. (2001). Introducing cultural citizenship. Social Text, 19(4), 1–7.  https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-19-4_69-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mohanty, C. T. (1991). Cartographies of struggle. Third world women and the politics of feminism. In C. T. Mohanty, A. Russo, & L. Torres (Eds.), Third world women and the politics of feminism (pp. 2–47). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Prashad, V. (2000). The karma of brown folk. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  39. Prashad, V. (2012). Uncle swami: South Asians in America today. New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
  40. Purkayastha, B. (2005). Negotiating ethnicity: Second-generation south Asian Americans Traverse a Transnational World. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Raghuram, P., & Sahoo, A. J. (2008). Thinking “Indian diaspora” for our time. In P. Raghuram, A. K. Sahoo, B. Maharaj, & D. Sangha (Eds.), Tracing the Indian diaspora: Contexts, memories and representations (pp. 1–20). New Delhi: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rahman, S. (2010). Imagining life under the long shadow of 9/11: Backlash, media discourse, identity and citizenship of the Bangladeshi diaspora in the United States. Cultural Dynamics, 22(1), 49–72.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0921374010366782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ram, A. (2014). Consuming Bollywood: Gender, globalization and media in the Indian diaspora. New York: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rangaswamy, P. (2000). Namaste America: Indian immigrants in an American metropolis. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Romell, R. (2012, Auguest, 06). 7 killed, including shooter, at Sikh temple in Oak Creek. Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Retrieved from http://archive.jsonline.com/news/crime/reports-of-people-shot-at-sikh-temple-in-oak-creek-qc6cgc0-165059506.html.
  46. Rosaldo, R. (1994). Cultural citizenship and educational democracy. Cultural Anthropology, 9(3), 402–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rudurappa, S. (2004). Ethnic routes to becoming American: Indian immigrants and the culture of citizenship. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Schmidt, K. J. (2015). An atlas and survey of south Asian history. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe Publishers.Google Scholar
  49. Shukla, S. R. (2003). India Abroad: Diasporic cultures of postwar America and England. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Siu, L. (2001). Diasporic cultural citizenship: Chineseness and belonging in central America and Panama. Social Text, 19(4), 7–28.  https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-19-4_69-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sohi, S. (2014). Echoes of mutiny: Race, surveillance, and Indian anticolonialism in North America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Tummala-Narra, P., Sathasivam-Rueckert, N., & Sundaram, S. (2013). Voices of older Asian Indian immigrants: Mewwntal health implications. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 44(1), 1–10.Google Scholar
  53. Verma, R. (2006). Trauma, cultural survival and identity politics in a post 9/11 era: Reflections by Sikh youth. Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory, 2(1), 89–101.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17448720600779877.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Werbner, P. (2007). The place which is diaspora: Citizenship religion, and gender in the making of chaordic transnationalism. In A. K. Sahoo & B. Maharaj (Eds.), Sociology of diaspora: A reader (Vol. 2, pp. 643–662). Jaipur: Rawat Publication.Google Scholar
  55. Young Lee, P. (2015, December 18). Arman Singh Sarai. Salon. Retrieved from http://www.salon.com/topic/armaan_singh_sarai/.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Connecticut CollegeNew LondonUSA
  2. 2.Roger Williams UniversityBristolUSA

Personalised recommendations