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TitleIdentity negotiations of Canadian Sikh women living with their in-laws by Sanita Dhillon A Th
LanguageEnglish
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Total Pages96
Table of Contents
                            Introduction
Literature Review
	Patrilocality in Punjab, India
	Sikh Families in Canada and Patrilocality
	Sikh Women’s Perceptions and Experiences of Patrilocality
	Communication and Resistance within Patrilocal Households
	Theoretical Framework: Identity Constructions
Method
	Critical Paradigm
	Data Collection
	Understanding Lived Experience through Life Stories
	Ethics
Data Analysis
	Navigating Cultural Discourses
	Navigating Private Space and Public Space
	Navigating Patrilocality
	Negotiating Identity: An Internal Struggle
		Dialogical Self and Voice. As discussed previously, the dialogical approach refers to the internal or external dialogue that help shape an individual’s identity. This occurs through the concept of the “dialogical self” which highlights the social cons...
Conclusions
	Comparison to Previous Studies
	Limits and Exclusions
	Future Research
References
Appendix 1: Theoretical Framework Visual
Appendix 2: Letter of Free and Informed Consent
Appendix 3: Advertisement
Appendix 4: Initial Contact
Appendix 5: Interview Introduction and Questions
Appendix 6: Interview Attendance
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

“We’re not just Canadian” : Identity negotiations of Canadian Sikh women living
with their in-laws

by

Sanita Dhillon



A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences

in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of



Master of Arts

in

Professional Communication





Royal Roads University

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada



Supervisor: Dr. April Warn-Vannini

August 2017





Sanita Dhillon, 2017

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Running head: SIKH WOMEN LIVING WITH IN-LAWS 2


COMMITTEE APPROVAL



The members of Sanita Dhillon’s Thesis Committee certify that they have read the thesis titled
“We’re not just Canadian”: Identity negotiations of Canadian Sikh women living with their in-
laws and recommend that it be accepted as fulfilling the thesis requirements for the Degree of
Master of Arts in Professional Communication:





Dr. April Warn-Vannini [signature on file]

Dr. Zhenyi Li [signature on file]





Final approval and acceptance of this thesis is contingent upon submission of the final copy of
the thesis to Royal Roads University. The thesis supervisor confirms to have read this thesis and
recommends that it be accepted as fulfilling the thesis requirements:

Dr. April Warn-Vannini [signature on file]

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Punjabi culture and Sikh religion as well as a Canadian lifestyle aligns with a finding from a

study on the cultural transmission strategies of Asian Indian immigrant parents. In this study,

parents recognized the challenges of bi-cultural identities and used various strategies to continue

the culture while negotiating conflicting cultural demands (Inman, Howard, Beaumont and

Walker, 2007). Overall, all of the women in this study expressed a desire to parent the children in

their own way; the majority of the women appreciated the childcare support that their in-laws

could provide; and some women were critical of the quality of support they would receive. The

women in this study also struggled in navigating between private and public space and shared

and individual resources.

Living Space. In this study, it was evident that the majority of the women wanted to

move out because having their own space within the patrilocal home came with restrictions or

problems and did not meet their needs for personal privacy. Nancy and Aman, who had both

moved out, said they love having their own space and felt that distance improved their

relationships with their in-laws. This was similar to another study in which second generation

Punjabi women in Canada expressed a desire for space from the extended family and perceived

living with the in-laws to be a burden (Sodhi, 2002). While living with her in-laws, Aman said

her mother-in-law did not respect her privacy; she would sometimes give tours of her bedroom to

guests without her knowledge. Like Aman’s experience, Samra (1996) also found that some Sikh

women living in extended families experienced stress due to their mother-in-laws invading their

privacy.

Nancy explained that she and her husband moved out of their in-laws home because there

was a lack of space after her brother-in-law and sister-in-law had three children. She said they

had no choice – money was tight for the other couple so her in-laws suggested that she and her

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husband move out. Although they searched for homes together as a joint family, they decided to

separate, feeling it was inevitable as everyone had their own preferences. She and her husband

now loved having their own space. Likewise, Raman had also recently decided, with her husband

and in-laws, that they would buy a duplex next to each other in order to have some space while

still being a joint family. Aman’s, Nancy’s and Raman’s desire for space and privacy were

aligned with what the participants in Liversage and Jakobsen’s (2010) study said were their main

reasons for moving out from their patrilocal homes in Denmark. The Turkish couples

interviewed in the study said that privacy was a trade-off for the economic benefit of living

together, but the presence of brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws and their children caused

overcrowding, as Nancy described. However, many families remained together for the mutual

benefits of care in old age and childcare, just as Kuljeet, Sharon and Raman described.

The majority of women also talked about wanting the basement suite. Sharon who

currently lived with her in-laws said:

I have no problem, we have the entire basement to ourselves, I can’t complain.

However, she said she recently started questioning if living with her in-laws was something she

wanted to do, or something thought she was going to have to do. Although she and her husband

loved having the basement to themselves, the in-laws often wanted them to come upstairs and

spend more time with them, which was different than her natal home and felt like a formality.

She also expressed that there was no space after disagreements.

Because we live together and we don’t agree on things, it becomes hard to deal, like if we

were apart, we would go home at the end of the day. Think about it, you know, maybe

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16. How do you feel about where you are in your life?

17. What are you most proud of about your way of life? What are your concerns, if any?

18. Were there pivotal moments in your life that brought you to where you are today?

19. What matters the most to you now?

20. Is there anything that we've left out of your story?

21. Do you feel you have given a fair picture of yourself?

22. What are your feelings about this interview and all that we have covered?

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Appendix 6: Interview Attendance


Participant Group Session 1
December 17, 2016

Group Session 2
January 7, 2017

Group Session 3
January 21, 2017

One-on-One

Aman No Yes Yes December 14,
2016

Kuljeet Yes No No February 26,
2017

Nancy No Yes Yes February 7,
2017

Raman Yes Yes No February 3,
2017

Sharon Yes Yes No January 23,
2017

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