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Exploring Issues Of Identity Among Punjabi-Sikh Youth In Toronto


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This paper investigates ten Punjabi-Sikh youth aged from 18 to 25, most of whom were residents of the Toronto area. It attempts to explore both how Sikh youth identify themselves and what external and social influences affect their perceptions and identities. As Punjabi-Sikh youth struggle to find their identity in the midst of competing expectations, they may face institutional and structural barriers that may further complicate their identity. While there is an extensive literature on the reception of first-generation Sikhs in Canada, there is minimal information on how secondgeneration Sikhs have integrated within the mainstream culture. There are many important questions to be answered. For example, to what extent do Western, Euro-centric values and beliefs in mainstream society conflict with Sikh traditional and cultural beliefs? How do youth accommodate some cultural and religious values over others? Are there multiple oppressions, which are in conflict with retaining an ethnic and cultural identity? How do the values, expectations, and beliefs of Punjabi-Sikh parents differ from their children’s? How do youth negotiate their cultural and religious identity in the face of conflicting expectations from parents, school, and their community? These are just some of the questions that will be explored in this study.
Edited by HSD1
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