Adolescents in Indian Immigrant Families in Canada: Navigating Two Cultural Worlds

By Shagufa Kapadia.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies

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The paper is based on a study that is a sequel to a previous project on “Parenting Goals and Expectations in the Context of Globalization and Acculturation: Perspectives from India and Canada” carried out in May–June 2006 (Kapadia 2009). This research brought to the fore parents’ perceptions and expectations in relation to their adolescent children. In order to derive a holistic picture of adjustment challenges in Indian immigrant families in Canada, integrating the experiences and viewpoints of children is de rigueur. Therefore, a research on the viewpoints of the adolescents was conducted in May–June 2010. The research questions were: To what extent do adolescents from Indian immigrant families demonstrate Indian cultural precepts? How are the views of parents and adolescents aligned with reference to significant life domains? The participants included 21 (11 girls and 10 boys) second generation Indian-Canadian adolescents (18-21 years) born and raised in Canada. Personal interviews were conducted to elicit their perspectives on adaptation in Canada, acquaintance with the Indian culture, personal goals and aspirations, and relationship with parents. Qualitative analysis was used to elicit the salient patterns in the narratives obtained from the adolescents. The adolescents’ views are compared with the views of the mothers in the previous study in terms of correspondence and discrepancies. Conclusions about socialization for cultural continuity are drawn with a comment on adolescent-parent relationships in the context of immigration and acculturation.

Keywords: Adolescents, Immigration, Culture, Parents

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.7-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 529.902KB).

Shagufa Kapadia

Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies , Faculty of Family and Community Sciences, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Baroda, Gujarat, India

I am a professor of human development and family studies at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. My primary interest and experience is in cross-cultural research, with the scholarly goal of generating culturally sensitive perspectives on development and behavior. My research areas include adolescent and youth socialization, morality, cultural conceptions and practices of parenting, cultural contexts of social support and reciprocity, and gender issues.