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Exploring hybridity and identity negotiation of young Tamil Canadian women: an autoethnographic study

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posted on 23.05.2021, 17:08 by Angeline Sahayanathan
This paper presents an autoethnographic analysis of hybridity and identity negotiation related to young Tamil Canadian women. Tamil women face unique challenges when it comes to maintaining cultural practices that are so heavily embedded in our upbringing. I have experienced this within my own life, in addition to observing similar challenges among women whom I have encountered within the Sri Lankan Tamil community in the City of Toronto. Young Tamil Canadian women are finding it difficult to conform to cultural expectations given their upbringing in a Western country like Canada Using an autoethnographic approach, the purpose of this paper is to examine transnational issues young Tamil Canadian women – specifically daughters, experience in their diaspora, as a result of negotiating between cultural practices and related impacts or consequences. Specifically, I employ vignette writing, a form of creative analytic practice to explore how young Tamil women are seen as carriers of culture and related implications for their agency and autonomy. Further, I examine and communicate how personal negotiations related to choosing to follow certain Tamil cultural practices and rejecting others, can result in community isolation, rejection from diasporic relations, and uncertainties about self-worth. I consider processes of identity construction and negotiation, and how this results in the creation of a third space that celebrates difference through new ways of being, encompassing cultural values from both the Canadian and Sri Lankan Tamil spectrum. My lived experiences will translate into short narratives that create a tangible example of this phenomenon and is captured by theories of hybridity, third space, acculturation and the good daughter. Key words: Diaspora, hybridity, identity, negotiation, culture, practices, gender, roles, migration, daughters

History

Language

eng

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

Thesis