"I Miss My Country, but My World is with My Children": Examining the Family and Social Lives of Older Indian Immigrants in the United States
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Candace L. Kemp
Dr. Mary M. Ball
Dr. Molly M. Perkins
Within the context of ongoing social and demographic transformation, including the trend towards globalization, changing patterns of longevity and increasing ethnic diversity, this thesis examines the lives older Asian-Indian immigrants in the United States. To date, much of what little research exists on this group of elders focuses on acculturation and related stress, but there is limited research on the daily life experiences of these older adults, particularly as they pertain to family life, the practice of filial piety, and informal support exchange within their households, as well as their social lives more generally. Informed by two theoretical approaches, Life Course and Symbolic Interactionism, this research examines older immigrants’ social and family lives. The study employs a qualitative approach and involves in-depth semi-structured interviews with 10 older Asian-Indians living in the Atlanta area. To varying degrees, their lives are family-centered. Traditional Indian practices such as filial piety are individualized according to the intersection of American and Indian cultures and family (e.g., structure and history) and personal (e.g., personal resources) influences. Similar influences operate to shape their family and social lives more generally. These findings enhance existing understandings of older immigrants’ lives and illustrate similarities and differences. In doing so, the research provides valuable information that can promote cultural competence for those working with and designing policies and programs for adults in a rapidly aging and increasingly diverse society.
Sharma, Karuna, ""I Miss My Country, but My World is with My Children": Examining the Family and Social Lives of Older Indian Immigrants in the United States." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2010.