Transnational Indian American Youth: Redefining What It Means to be Second-Generation Indian American

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Adrienne ATTERBERRY, Syracuse University, USA
Using in-depth interviews with 18 alumni of international schools in Bangalore, a city in southwest India, this article examines the role of migration in ethnic identity formation among transnationally mobile second-generation Indian American youth. It seeks to examine the following questions: How does transnational migration affect the development of ethnic identity for Indian American youth? How does transnational migration complicate what it means to be a second-generation Indian American? Building upon literature related to transnational migration, ethnic identity, and youth the findings indicate that transnational Indian American youths’ experiences of travelling between the US and India before reaching the age of majority shapes their orientation to India and Indian culture in such a way that makes them fundamentally different from US born and raised second-generation Indian Americans. This brings into question what it means to be a second-generation immigrant youth and the role of transnational migration in shaping youths’ ethnic identity.