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Acculturative Stress and Identity Crisis: South Asians in Canadian Academe

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This article explores the psychological processes of acculturative stress and identity crises in the lives of South Asian students in academe. It is evident that the anxieties about South Asian students' cultural adaptabilities are sites of contested meanings. This inquiry unsettles the seemingly predetermined category of "South Asian student" and considers how South Asian students' experiences are couched in a series of disparaging discourses. The conflicts and contradictions between the "traditional" culture "back home" and "Canadian" culture are noticeable. Further, the binaries of "tradition"/"modern"; "Indianized"/"Canadianized"; "Third World"/"West"; and "advanced"/"backward" are perceived to be divergent groupings. These contrasting categories are viewed as "mutually exclusive so that the only logical conclusion to anyone struggling with culture conflict is to choose either one side or the other, primarily for the sake of mental and emotional well-being (Paur, 1994:25)."


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