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The ABCD conundrum: what does it mean to be a South Asian-American woman?

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TitleInfo (type = uniform)
Title
The ABCD conundrum: what does it mean to be a South Asian-American woman?
TitleInfo (type = alternative)
Title
What does it mean to be a South Asian-American woman?
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Badruddoja
NamePart (type = given)
Roksana
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Roksana Badruddoja
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author
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Brooks
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Ethel
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Advisory Committee
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Ethel C Brooks
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chair
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Eviatar
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Advisory Committee
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Eviatar Zerubavel
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internal member
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Williams
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Richard
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Advisory Committee
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Richard Williams
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internal member
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Puar
NamePart (type = given)
Jasbir
Affiliation
Advisory Committee
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Jasbir K Puar
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
outside member
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
Rutgers University
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
degree grantor
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
Graduate School-New Brunswick
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
school
TypeOfResource
Text
Genre (authority = marcgt)
theses
OriginInfo
DateCreated (qualifier = exact)
2007
DateOther (qualifier = exact); (type = degree)
2007
Language
LanguageTerm (authority = ISO 639-3:2007); (type = text)
English
PhysicalDescription
Form (authority = marcform)
electronic
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application/pdf
InternetMediaType
text/xml
Extent
ix, 258 pages
Note
Supplementary File: Preliminary Pages (REVISED)
Abstract (type = abstract)
In this dissertation, I explore the perceptions of second-generation South Asian-American women about daily social practices in the U.S. and how they view themselves in comparison to broader American society. I do this by engaging in an eight-month long feminist ethnographic study with a cross-national sample of twenty-five women in the U.S. I spent a day in the life of each woman, eating, drinking, and talking about work, partners, families, food, clothing, and how they feel about being children of immigrants, among other areas of interest. In my work, I ask the following questions: What are the meanings of ABCD or American-Born Confused Desi - a popular term for second generation South Asian Americans - in the U.S. racial and ethnic imaginary? How do these meanings travel through class, gender, sexual, and cultural hierarchies, both in the United States and transnationally? The notion of binary constructs within white, western, and feminist thinking is an important conceptual tool in this study. The oppositional poles of East/West, white/black, man/woman, and South Asian/American acquire social significance and meaning through Orientalist knowledge production - an assumed experience based on dominant representation - rendering the second-generation as misplaced and cultural-conflict-bound. The testimonies reveal that such expectations do not wholly reflect the realities of my research participants' lives. While the women I interviewed experience "whiteness" and the oppressor role along class lines, they are also asked to distance themselves from their "whiteness" through imposed racial and cultural definitions, taking on the role of the oppressed, and at times not, vis-a-vis black people.
With time and age, the women's self-definitions come to include manipulation and expressions of opposition as they grow to appreciate "their culture" while simultaneously owning whiteness and white spaces. Here, through the appropriation of Orientalist tropes, my respondents construct "resistant identities." The Orientalist dichotomies between East and West and tradition and modernity fall far behind the actual construction of the women's identities and dispersion of culture. The twenty-five women's oral histories speak to the gendered and sexualized discourses of assimilation, racism, and U.S. Orientalism, as well as the multiple points in which they break down. The conceptual insights gained from studying second-generation South Asian-American women are not limited. Here, I focus on broader theoretical or epistemological concerns - identity, identity grammar, and shifts in identity grammar. My informants reveal the process of identity-management and that it is not a uniquely second-generation South Asian-American enterprise. This study situates itself on the margins of both U.S. nationalism and South Asian-American cultural nationalism within the context of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and South Asian-American femininities.
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 239-256).
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Sociology
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
South Asian American women
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Children of immigrants
RelatedItem (type = host)
TitleInfo
Title
Graduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Identifier (type = local)
rucore19991600001
Identifier (type = hdl)
http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.2/rucore10001600001.ETD.13489
Identifier
ETD_157
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T3R78FN8
Location
PhysicalLocation (authority = marcorg); (displayLabel = Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
NjNbRU
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
Copyright
Status
Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
AssociatedEntity (AUTHORITY = rulib); (ID = 1)
Name
Roksana Badruddoja
Role
Copyright holder
Affiliation
Rutgers University. Graduate School-New Brunswick
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Type
Permission or license
Detail
Non-exclusive ETD license
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License
Name
Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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