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The Influence of Family on the Educational Trajectories of Sikh College Students


The purpose of this research was to understand the influence of family on the educational trajectories of Sikh American college students. I conducted a qualitative study at various research sites and interviewed 30 self-identifying Sikh college students. The theoretical framework and data analysis of this research were guided by Funds of Knowledge, Bourdieuan Theory, and Critical Race Theory. By integrating these three theoretical frameworks, results from this study offer important implications for higher education research and practice including challenging deficit-oriented perspectives of students of color and centering the experiences of students for whom their racial and religious identities intersect. Given they are racialized under the broader Asian American/South Asian American racial categories and simultaneously minoritized due to their non-Judeo Christian religious views, a focus on Sikh college students is critical. Findings from this study reveal important implications for higher education research and practice related to Asian American and South Asian American college students, including challenging stereotypes and adding greater complexity and nuance to existing narratives.

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