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New Roots in America's Sacred Ground: Religion, Race, and Ethnicity in Indian America (Paperback)
In this compelling look at second-generation Indian Americans, Khyati Y. Joshi draws on case studies and interviews with forty-one second-generation Indian Americans, analyzing their experiences involving religion, race, and ethnicity from elementary school to adulthood. As she maps the crossroads they encounter as they navigate between their homes and the wider American milieu, Joshi shows how their identities have developed differently from their parents’ and their non-Indian peers’ and how religion often exerted a dramatic effect.
The experiences of Joshi’s research participants reveal how race and religion interact, intersect, and affect each other in a society where Christianity and whiteness are the norm. Joshi shows how religion is racialized for Indian Americans and offers important insights in the wake of 9/11 and the backlash against Americans who look Middle Eastern and South Asian.
Through her candid insights into the internal conflicts contemporary Indian Americans face and the religious and racial discrimination they encounter, Joshi provides a timely window into the ways that race, religion, and ethnicity interact in day-to-day life.
About the Author
KHYATI Y. JOSHI is an assistant professor at the School of Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Joshi has written a ground-breaking contribution on the racialization of religion, an issue scholars have long been reluctant to address. This stimulating and important book is essential in the study of South Asian Americans, second-generation immigrants, and Asian American religions.
— Paul Spickard
New Roots in America's Sacred Ground provides both a detailed analysis of second-generation Indian Americans and identity, and a sophisticated and lucid argument about the integral role religion and religious oppression play in race and ethnicity in the United States. Joshi's insightful intervention about the role of religious identity has gained even more significance in light of discriminatory practices occurring since 9/11.
— Jigna Desai
For far too long, scholars have studied religions as if they were abstract collections of beliefs and practices that could get along just fine without living, breathing people. This beautifully crafted and admirably empathetic study of second-generation Indian Americans rightly fixes its gaze not on such abstractions as Hinduism, Sikhism, and Islam but on the actual lives of specific Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims. Along the way, it teaches us much about race and religion in American life, not least the fact that discrimination-both racial and religious-is an ever-present reality in the lives of this so-called 'model minority,' and that religious affiliation stands shoulder-to-shoulder with race, ethnicity, and gender as a key identity marker in the twenty-first century.
— Stephen Prothero
This is a ground-breaking book in the contested territory of race, religion, and ethnicity in the United States. Despite being one of the of the fastest growing, most upwardly mobile groups in the country, second generation Indian Americans-Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, and Muslims-are conspicuous by their absence in scholarly studies. This book has invaluable data and case studies, which have been skillfully analyzed and thoughtfully presented. A "must-read" book for all those interested in immigration studies, transnational religion, Asian Americans, and American Religions.
— Vasudha Narayanan