Gender and ethnic identity among second-generation Indo-Caribbeans

  • Warikoo N
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This article discusses second-generation Indo-Caribbean (West Indian of Indian descent) teenagers’ ethnic identities, through a look at their taste preferences and self assertions of identity. Both Indo-Caribbean young men and women draw from multiple influences on their identities. In terms of tastes in clothing and movies, however, girls are more interested in things Indian, and in ‘‘Indian culture’’. Boys, on the other hand, choose to distance themselves from an Indian identity. Three factors explain these gender differences in choices about ethnic identity: (1) different media images for South Asian men and women; (2) a school context lending different levels of peer symbolic status to perceived Indian boys and girls; and (3) a gendered process of migration by which women maintain stronger cultural roots in the new country. The findings in this article point to the need to pay attention to gender differences when considering ethnic incorporation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Culture
  • Ethnic identity
  • Gender
  • Race
  • South Asia
  • West Indies
  • Youth

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  • Natasha Warikoo

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