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"White in public, Indian at home?": The practices of ethnicity among Indian immigrants in late 20th century United States

This dissertation, an ethnography of a South Asian American shelter called Mahila Makaan, and the Organization for Indian Americans is an exploration of the cultures of citizenship extant in the United States today. I locate the development of these two South Asian organizations in Chicago within the context of multiculturalism. A prevalent perspective on multicultural politics is that it weakens the cultures of citizenship, and therefore the coherence of the American nation-state. Multiculturalism, supporters of this perspective say, brings roots-based/private identities into the public realm, thus challenging the existence of a secular, non-ethnic nation-hood. While most nations have a sense of a past tradition to invent national communities, the United States is believed not to have a singular ur-tradition that serves as a foundation for building a national identity.^
Downloadable Article, English, 2001