Accepted Paper:

How are Asian Indian faculty members perceived in the US? Examining Stereotypes and Cultural Values  

Authors:

Meghna Sabharwal (The University of Texas at Dallas)
Roli Varma (University of New Mexico)
Elissa Colich (University of Texas at Dallas)

Paper short abstract:

Given the increasing presence of Asian Indians in US academia, a question of importance is: What cultural values do these groups of people bring to their work and what stereotypes are they faced with?

Paper long abstract:

Currently in the United States there are close to 3.1 million Asian Indians representing approximately 1% of the US population and 20% of the total Asian population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). Furthermore, about three-fourths of the Asian Indian population in the US are foreign-born. The academic sector in the U.S. relies heavily on the contributions made by foreign-born scientists and engineers, especially of Asian origin. Given the increasing presence of Asian Indians in US academia, a question of importance is: What cultural values do these groups of people bring to their work and what stereotypes are they faced with? Participants for this study are 51 Asian Indian scientists employed in 18 research universities across the US funded through a NSF project. Individuals rely on stereotypes in their everyday interactions, and often times these stereotypes are subtle or inherent. Negative stereotypes usually perpetuate prejudice and positive stereotypes (e.g. with model minority myth among Asians) may also have a negative impact on the group. We will examine both the positive and negative stereotypes encountered by Asian Indians in US academia alongside their cultural values that have a major influence on everyday work. Preliminary findings show that our participants believed in the meritocracy of the US system and were protected from discrimination based on their educational qualifications, work ethic, and hard work. Interestingly, several thought of Indians being stereotypical of others. A number of faculty members characterized the "casteism" in India as worse than any stereotype they have encountered in the US.

Panel T051
Feminist Postcolonial STS