Exploring change in the meaning of home for South Asian Indians who immigrate in late-life

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Mixed-methods research explored change in the meaning of home for nine mainly Sikh, South Asian Indian (SAI) late-life immigrant women, living in the Vancouver area. One translated, three-hour, face-to-face semi-structured post-immigration interview was conducted with each participant. The meaning of home was also explored in a non-random survey of 40 SAI seniors. A conceptual model was developed to guide the interviews, analysis and findings. Findings include that reductions and changes in the meaning of home occurs after immigration and that core relationship and sociocultural meanings are established resulting in participants feeling at home. SAI ethnic enclaves promote congruence with the old home and competence in the new one. Strong place attachment to the Indian home prompted regular return trips, which sustained the participant’s "place" in their original neighbourhood networks, an important source of self identity that is not easily reproduced in Canada.

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Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)