Conversations in Conflict Studies presents: Prema Kurien
204 Maxwell Hall
"Race, Religion, and the Political Incorporation of Contemporary Immigrants." Prema Kurien, Professor of Sociology at the Syracuse University Maxwell School.
Using a case study of Indian Americans, my presentation will examine how race and religion interact to shape the political mobilization of contemporary immigrants. Indian Americans are becoming politically active. What is particularly striking about this group is that they have mobilized around a variety of identities to influence U.S. policy. Some identify as Indian Americans, others as South Asians, and yet others on the basis of religious identity as Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians. A growing group identifies in terms of their party affiliation as Democrats and Republicans. There is also an adult, second-generation population that is getting involved in civic and political activism in very different ways than from their parents' generation. My research focused on a variety of Indian American advocacy organizations and found that differing understandings of race, as well as majority/minority status in India and in the United States produced much of the variation in the patterns of civic and political activism of the various groups.
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