Contradiction and Challenges: Second Generation Sikh Males in Canada
Johal, Ravinder Singh
MetadataShow full item record
Considering the historical and current context of their community within Canadian society, and given the myriad of challenges facing young Sikhs as they negotiate family, gender, peer, cultural, and religious expectations, this study examined how Sikh youth living in the Greater Toronto Area make sense of the world around them. It is clear that by challenging the parameters of multiculturalism, Sikh males have made their presence felt in Canada. However, the experiences of younger generations in Western diasporas are relatively absent in scholarship. Given the sometimes varying nature of the expectations and relationships that these youth must negotiate, in addition to the current issues occurring in their communities, one component of this study ascertained how these Sikh males formulate their aspirations. What are the experiences of young Sikh males in a Canadian context where they negotiate conflicting messages about identity, religiosity, and community? The primary objective of this study was to gain an understanding of what it means to be a second generation Sikh male living in an ethnic enclave of suburban Toronto. It specifically examined the intersecting notions of identity, gender, social class, and religion amongst this population while analyzing the role of family as well as community in their lives. The theoretical concepts of transnationalism, hybrid identities, as well as notions of masculinity amongst Sikh males guided this paper. An important consideration is how youth are able to discern between the varying notions of the Sikh identity. In addition, it was important to examine how these youth negotiate conflicting liberal and traditional views that are promoted within their communities and families. More specifically, this paper examined how these young people reconcile their Canadian and Sikh identities. Considering the prominence of Sikhs in broader Canadian society, this study also inquired as to how youth perceive their own community. In summary, this exploratory study focused on how Sikh males use their social and cultural capital to negotiate a range of social institutions. It examined the kinds of thinking found amongst this group, taking into consideration the dynamics of the community in which they live and how they navigate the parameters of being a Sikh Canadian.