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Srivastava, Archana (1995) Between expectation and experience : Lives of Gujarati and Sikh women ageing in London. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This ethnographic study traces the ageing process as conditioned by the migration experience, and the social, economic and cultural backgrounds of Gujarati and Sikh women in London. This research was conducted amongst women of the two communities who frequented various Asian organizations and places of worship in Wood Green, Wembley and Southall in London. The data were collected through unstructured interviews. The essential experiences which condition the lives of informants include their migratory history, their residential patterns, the perceived threat from western morality, concern for their cultural identity, and actual and perceived racism. These experiences have demanded various adjustments from Indian women, such as the need to go out of their houses to work. They have to face changes in ideas about masculinity, femininity and authority, balancing their expectations (based on the ideal Indian world) with practicalities of life in London. In the absence of wider familial kin networks they need to rely on other strategies of social contact and support. All these changes have affected most women equally, but from time to time, their responses may be guided by their specific religious, regional, caste and linguistic affiliations, or by individual perceptions which are independent of such factors. This research contributes to the study of the ageing process among first generation women migrants to Britain who are growing old in a western country. It aims to understand their ageing in terms of the conflicts they experience as they adjust their expectations in light of their experience of late twentieth century London. The thesis aims more generally at an understanding of ageing processes of migratory communities living in the West.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:04

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