The Racial and Gendered Experiences in Indian Immigrant Women Writers

MRP (H) – 1816/11-12/KAKA08/UGC-SWRO, dated 28 Sept 2012

Name of the Principal Investigator  :  Lokesh S Hegde, Asst.Professor of English

                                                        Dr. AV Baliga College of Arts and Science, Kumta

Title of the Project:  The Racial and Gendered Experiences in Indian Immigrant   Women Writers - A study of the select works of Bharati   Mukharjee,  Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee, Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran  Desai

Objectives/Findings of the Project:

 

Migration has been a major theme throughout history. The reasons for migration have been varied, but climatic, social, religious, cultural and financial factors have been important. In general, the common aim of migration has been to improve one’s future prospects through education and work. The issues of race, class and gender are important factors in this connection. After decolonization, many people from the Third World and former colonized countries migrated to the West in order to secure a better future for themselves and their families back home. From point of view of the industrialized countries, the immigrants have helped out in an increasing demand for labour. However, the multicultural societies of today have also been a challenge. Prejudice and intolerance, especially in connection with differences in race and ethnicity, have been demanding and problematic. Due to variation in cultural and religious background, gender roles have proven difficult in relation to Western ideals and other cultures. Ever since the beginning of migration of Indians to the prosperous West for various reasons ranging from the search for a better life to better academic opportunities, the problem of racial and gender discrimination with women has repeatedly surfaced for the Indian immigrants. Many Indian immigrant writers have dealt with this problem in their works. As a result, a world-wide awareness about the issue in question has been awakened and has perhaps indirectly helped the victims of discrimination. This Project is an exercise in focusing on the racial and gendered experiences of Indian immigrants as revealed in some of the works of four Indian immigrant women writers – Bharati Mukhrjee, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran Desai.

 

The project is expected to serve as a source material for researchers to explore further in the field of Indian Diaspora Writings so as to bring to light the plight of Indian immigrants abroad who are the victims of racial and gender discrimination.

 

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