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The Sikhs in Canada: Migration, Race, Class, and Gender

The Sikhs in Canada: Migration, Race, Class, and Gender


Item Code: IDF068

by Gurcharn S. Basran & B. Singh Bolaria

Hardcover (Edition: 2003)

Oxford University Press
ISBN 0195648862

Language: English
Size: 8.9" X 5.7"
Pages: 326
Price: $30.00   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 2nd Oct, 2008


From the Jacket :

The passage of Sikhs from India to Canada and their location in the Canadian mosaic constitutes an interesting subject for sociological analysis. This book deals with the migratory patterns and characteristics of Sikh immigrants to Canada, the trials and tribulations faced by them, and their professional and social status in a foreign land.

This volume discusses the self-perception of the Sikhs as an oppressed minority community in India. It analyses their desire to create a space for themselves - politically, economically, and geographically - to safeguard their religious, cultural, and linguistic rights. The authors focus on the historical and contemporary plight of the Sikhs in Punjab, from where most of the Sikhs immigrated, and links it with the formation and politics of the Sikh community in Canada.

The authors go on to discuss the Canadian immigration policy in general and the policies specific to immigration from India. The current socio-economic status of the Sikh immigrants and the participation of Sikh immigrant workers in the Canadian labour force is another vital issue of concern. Racism, racial discrimination, and racist labour policies at the workplace resulted in exploitation of early Sikh workers. The authors recount instances of political activism and anti-colonial and anti-racist activities of 'pioneer' immigrants.

The nature and formation of social and cultural institutions of immigrants are influenced to a great extent by the Canadian immigration policy which had a deep impact on the formation and development of Sikh families and conjugal life in Canada. The book covers race, class and gender issues as they related to the status of the Sikhs in Canada.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, anthropology, politics, and history.

About the Author :

Gurcharn S. Basran and B. Singh Bolaria are Professors, Department of Sociology, University of Sanskatchewan, Canada.

Excerpts From Reviews:

"On May 13, 1914, 376 British subjects (12 Hindus, 24 Muslims, and 340 Sikhs) of Indian origin arrived in Vancouver harbour abroad the Komagata Maru, seeking to enter Canada, 352 of the passengers were denied entry and forced to depart on July 23, 1914. This plaque commemorates the 75th anniversary of the unfortunate incident of racial discrimination and reminds Canadians of our commitment of an open society in which mutual respect and understanding are honoured, differences are respected, and traditions are cherished." - Plaque at the Gateway to the Pacific, Downtown Vancouver

"Komagata Maru Incident 75th Anniversary: Dedicated to the memory of the 376 passengers (340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims, 12 Hindus) who arrived at Burrard Inlet, Vancouver on May 23, 1914, from Indian sub-continent on the ship Komagata Maru (Guru Nanak Jahaz). Due to the racist immigration policy of the Dominion of Canada, they were forced to leave on July 23, 1914. Khalsa Diwan Society, Vancouvr, pays respect to those passengers by commemorating the reprehensible incident." - Plaque in the Vancouver Gurdwara dedicated July 23, 1989


Increasing Diversity in the Canadian Mosaic1
Deracialization and Recent Immigrants1
Immigrant Characteristics: Give Us Your Educated5
International Migrations8
Role of the State11
2.Sikhs and Sikhism: The Khalsa Panth14
Sikh Gurus and Sikh Religion15
The Development of Sikhism and Sikh Identity22
Sikh Ethical Values: Personal and Social Conduct23
Contradictions of Everyday Living25
3.State, Religion, Language and Politics30
The Sikh State Prior to British Colonialism: The Sikh Raj31
Gurdwara Reform Movement34
Sikhs and the Anti-Colonial Struggle36
Politics of Language38
The Anandpur Sahib Resolution40
Economic Development and its Contradictions54
The Politics of the 'Punjab Problem'56
State Crimes and Criminalization of Political Dissent65
Summary and Conclusion69
4.Migration, Labour and Racism77
International Migrations78
Capital and Foreign Labour80
State and Labour Procurement83
Institutional Racism and Exploitation84
5.From Indian to Canada:
Immigration Policy and Migration Patterns
Indian Immigration: 1990-190895
Indian Immigration: 1909 to the Second World War99
Indian Immigration: Post-War Period, 1966103
Indian Immigration: Since 1967104
Political Consciousness and Resistance107
6.Colonialism and Indian Labour: Work and Life in the Colonies116
Colonialism and Indian Labour117
Sikh Workers: Reproduction of Low-Cost Labour121
Single Male Labour122
Colonial Status, Racism, and Legal-Political Rights124
Racial Labour Policy126
Racially Segregated Labour and Living Conditions126
Racial Preference in Employment and Blocked Alternative Opportunities128
Differential Wages: Racism and Price of Labour129
Racialized Work and Segregated Work Areas131
Racialized Occupational and Social Hierarchy133
Undesirable Immigrants, Preferred Workers135
Everyday Lived Experiences of Sikhs138
7.Post-War Immigrants: Opportunities and Constraints 150
Post-War Immigrants151
Immigrants Increasingly from Non-Traditional sources152
Recent Immigrants Better Educated153
Labour Force Profile of Immigrants154
Visible Minorities: Non White in Colour of Non-Caucasian in Race156
Socio-Economic and Labour Force Profile of Sikhs159
Media and the Minorities: Problemetizing the Sikh Community167
Community Conflict and Immigration Controls175
Social Image of Sikhs and Other Racial Minorities178
Victimization and Criminalization of 'Look-Alike' Minorities179
Race and Colour Matter182
8.State Policies, Family Formation and Inequality192
State Policies and Early Family Formation193
Contemporary Families: Structural Diversity, Social Relations and Cultural Practices196
Gender Equality and Decision-Making197
Families, Children, Courtship, and Marriages198
Cultural Transmission: Language and Religion201
Economic Statue of Visible Minority Families201
Visible Minority Women: Race, Class, Gender203
9.The Sikhs: From Indian to Canada213
Religion, Identity, and Politics214
Migrations and Labour Reproduction216
Colonial Status, Racism, and Sikh Workers218
Post-War Canada: Social Mobility and Inequality219
Race, Gender, and Family220

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