Individual and family expectations among first and second generation Sikh women in the UK : aspirations, constraints and patriarchal practices
This thesis explores the lives of first and second generation Sikh women in the UK. It explores how women's lives are affected by family expectations, patriarchal practices and relations. Based on thirty-nine interviews (nineteen with first generation women and twenty with second generation women), the study provides an insight into generational trends and changing perspectives on patriarchal practices within the Sikh community. This study assesses how first and second generation Sikh women see `appropriate behaviour' of women as reinforced by both men and women. Women's perceptions of the impact of the Sikh community on individuals and their families are explored to evaluate the role it has in reinforcing `traditional' and patriarchal values on its members. Beginning with a review of the available literature and a discussion of its limitations the thesis moves on to give an overview of the position of South Asian groups in the UK, focusing particularly on the Sikh community and Sikh women. The thesis identifies feminist theory and the grounded theory approach as appropriate analytical tools for the research into Sikh women's perceptions of their families and communities. The results are then organised under three main headings - community, family and patriarchy. Finally, the conclusion ties together the respondents' narratives and situates Sikh women's experiences within the sphere of the Sikh family and community in the UK.