Part 4 – Sikh Book Club – Sikhs In Britain: Between Factory and Family

Last week we actually had a conversation about the book (thanks RT!) and hopefully this week will continue the dialogue. Sorry for the delay in getting this up, airline delays are tough. Here we continue.

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The chapters of this section probably also warrant separate blog posts as we tackle the subjects of Chapter 7 (Employment and Education and Chapter 8 (Family, Gender and Sexuality). Still time and space constricts us.

Chapter 7 looks at the employment and education profile of the Sikhs in greater detail than previously mentioned in Chapter 3. The authors note that the followers of Guru Nanak have done well in the UK, but by no means are they ethnic high flyers (145).

Entering the UK job market as door-to-door tradesmen (Sikh Bhatras of the 1930s/40s) and followed by post WWII unskilled manual labourers, Sikh enclaves formed where employment opportunities were available. First jobs for newly arrived immigrants were facilitated by previously settled kith and kin.

Labour exploitation at the hands of factory managers and even intermediaries from their own community (batoos) helped to propel the labour movements led by the IWAs.

New labour patterns created their own typical Punjabi musical forms. The authors provide some examples in translation of these forms. [Both of us wish that the original Punjabi had been included]:

The wife complains,
Alone I am at night
For all you care is pounds
Those white currency notes
While I tremble at night alone
During the freezing winter
With my youth wasting away
My man collects overtime wage
Oh what a cruel fate in England!

Of significant note is the authors attention to the effects and changes associated with womens employment. Such women were ripe for exploitation, but still many Sikh women saw these new opportunities as exciting and as a way of fostering autonomy and independence. Sikh women have been at the forefront of leading strikes for greater union rights and better work conditions Chix bubblegum factory (Slough, 1979), Bursnall metal works (Birmingham, 1992), Hillingdon hospital (1995), Lufthansa skychief catering (1998), and most recently Gate Gourmet v. British Airways that led to the virtual closing of Heathrow in 2005 (154).

However the future of Sikhs in the UK is probably not to be found in the factories of the future. Beginning in the 1960s, many Sikhs moved towards self-employment and began purchasing corner shops. The economic policies associated with Thatchers term of office intensified this process. Still compared to other South Asian groups, Sikhs have some of the lowest levels of self-employment (156). [Good call RT!]

Even in terms of educational levels, Sikhs are largely below the national averages, especially in terms of womens education. 16.4% of Sikh Males have degree or equivalent, compared to national average at 18%; 14.8% of Sikh women have degree or equivalent, compared to national average at 15.5%. UK Sikhs levels are only marginally better than UK Muslims.

Still it must be mentioned that these aggregates reflect the educational levels of first and second generation UK Sikhs and those of subsequent third and fourth generations are slightly above the national averages, but significantly behind Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists (158).

One of the most interesting sections in this chapter is the authors look at Sikh social groups.

  1. The Big Leaguers – (those that have assets above 20 million pounds). This group includes the well-known Tom Singh and others. However the authors note that this group is largely fragmented and individualized that are least concerned with the Sikh community.
  2. Below the big leaguers are medium and small sized businesses that are the usual immigrant success stories. The authors note that this group retains most of the plebeian and rural Sikh values that prioritise individual rather than collective concerns (162).
  3. Communitys Professionals doctors, lawyers, accountants, academics, and higher level civil servants. This group the authors note is poorly represented and is seen as one reason the UK Sikh community has failed to develop autonomic community leadership. Being educated has given way to being wealthy in the eyes of the community.
  4. Managers, central and local government employees, IT workers, bank and insurance workers. This group is increasing in size amongst the better-educated third and fourth generations. This group has been the most vocal championing Sikh identity issues. The authors liken them to the frontline Nihangs of Sikh issues in the UK today (163).
  5. Skilled and unskilled workers constitute a substantial part of the community and continue to play an active role in the Gurdwara. Residues of older labour militancy remains in the consciousness. The authors broadgroup this category as Des Pardes readers.
  6. The underclass kabootars (pigeons/illegals) and others engaged in the black economy.

So first question What are your thoughts and opinions on this categorization of social groups? Accurate reading of the UK? Comparative to other Sikh diasporas?

Related but separate, Chapter 8 opens up the discussion to issues of family, gender, and sexuality.

Since the passing of the Commonwealth Immigration Act (1962), the Sikh-British household has undergone significant change. In 2001, the average size of a Sikh household was 3.6 persons, second only to Muslim households at 3.8 people. The numbers reveal a decline since the 1960s when 5-6 was the norm. Also of note is that 13.5% of Sikh households have three or more children, again second highest to Muslims at 24.9%. The authors surmise that this is due to male preference, which we commonly see that the family will keep on trying to have kids until they have a boy. Since the 1990s, the availability of amniocentesis has made this less common with more quiet ways to check the gender of the child [We see this phenomenon from Bathinda to Birmingham to Bakersfield to Brampton and unfortunately we may venture that this is one of the disgusting practices that marks our community.]

Other interesting statistics were that 21.2% of households live with more than one family and the number of affluent communes that can be seen in areas of Sikh settlements, however more and more of newlyweds are beginning to venture out on their own.

Marriage is a key institution with Sikhs having the second highest rate of marriage (59%), following only Hindus at 61%. However marriages are beginning to happen at a later age than before. Another interesting note is that anecdotally the number of divorces, a trend seen on various Sikh marriage websites, is also on the rise 10.7% of Sikhs age 24-34 have had a divorce and 14.3% of those 35-44. Thus for 35-44 year olds, 1 in 7 is likely to end in a divorce. Divorce can no longer be a taboo, it is a reality.

Alcoholism is a HUGE problem. In one study 80% of Asian men that had died of alcohol-related problems were from a Sikh origin.

Next we turn to, in our opinion, the most interesting part of the chapter - that related to the discussions on gender. The authors see 3 main discourses:

  1. Radical this is best represented by the widely heralded Southall Black Sisters (SBS) that emerged in the 1970s that directly confront various patriarchies (and the religions that are seen to produce them?). The thrust is on feminism, anti-racism, and equality.
  2. Revisionist revisionist Sikh feminists attempt to provide an alternative reading of Sikh society. Bhachu has been one academic that sees Sikh women as cultural reproducers, individuals who actively manufacture their identities.
  3. Traditionalist traditionalist Sikh feminists attempt to provide an alternative reading of Sikh religion, history, and theology. They believe Western feminism is inadequate for understanding Sikhis progressive nature.

[Although such categories are for heuristic reasons, still they leave the both of us unsatisfied. Do people exist in one camp or the other? Do people go back and forth depending on the situation? SBSs website didnt point anything explicit to us, but both of us know people that do operate from with-out the community. Jodha has blogged on those that opt out of the community before. So our question here is open ended on your thoughts on these categories.]

The chapter concludes about sexuality and ways sexuality challenges certain traditional Sikh beliefs in ways that even gender cannot. The authors employ similar heuristic categories such as: traditionalist roughly the views that were stated by Vedanti while he was jathedar; realist which were the views stated by MP Navdeep Singh Bains; radical the views most widely expressed by UK student Jasbir Singh.

Again neither of us were happy with these categories, but it gives us some food for thought.

Previous Coverage:
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1
Intro


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21 Responses to “Part 4 – Sikh Book Club – Sikhs In Britain: Between Factory and Family”

  1. Prem says:

    Jodha has blogged on those that opt out of the community before.

    ‘Opt outs’ just seems to me like the old mechanism of ostracism rooted in izzat culture that pervades so much Sikh discourse in the family and at a larger level. Sometimes those who are most firm in their criticisms are the ones motivated enough to address issues that otherwise would not be tackled. Southall Black Sisters have done more to rescue some Sikh (and Hindu and Muslim) women from horrific social oppression than almost anyone else.

    Regarding the classification of occupations, academic achievments. I think it’s clear that the community is moving in the right direction. That Sikhs are collectively achieving higher than the national average in GCSE, A Level and University is the natural trajectory for generally successful populations descended from generationally recent immigrants. I can’t see any reason why that should not continue.

  2. Prem says:

    Jodha has blogged on those that ‘opt out of the community’ before.

    'Opt outs' just seems to me like the old mechanism of ostracism rooted in izzat culture that pervades so much Sikh discourse in the family and at a larger level. Sometimes those who are most firm in their criticisms are the ones motivated enough to address issues that otherwise would not be tackled. Southall Black Sisters have done more to rescue some Sikh (and Hindu and Muslim) women from horrific social oppression than almost anyone else.

    Regarding the classification of occupations, academic achievments. I think it's clear that the community is moving in the right direction. That Sikhs are collectively achieving higher than the national average in GCSE, A Level and University is the natural trajectory for generally successful populations descended from generationally recent immigrants. I can't see any reason why that should not continue.

  3. Prem says:

    Jodha has blogged on those that opt out of the community before.

    ‘Opt outs’ just seems to me like the old mechanism of ostracism rooted in izzat culture that pervades so much Sikh discourse in the family and at a larger level. Sometimes those who are most firm in their criticisms are the ones motivated enough to address issues that otherwise would not be tackled. Southall Black Sisters have done more to rescue some Sikh (and Hindu and Muslim) women from horrific social oppression than almost anyone else.

    Regarding the classification of occupations, academic achievments. I think it’s clear that the community is moving in the right direction. That Sikhs are collectively achieving higher than the national average in GCSE, A Level and University is the natural trajectory for generally successful populations descended from generationally recent immigrants. I can’t see any reason why that should not continue.

  4. Harinder says:

    I think the way i see it happening is that SIkh will continue to acquire different traits as they go living in different countries

    eg
    1 ) USA : looks like is the breeding ground for the technologist and Geeeks amongst us form the likes of Piara SIngh Gill , Harvinder Sahota , Narinder Kapnyji.

    2 ) Britian SIkhs is where our Music really flowered of Malkit Singh fame and from here we got globalised

    3 ) Canada sees the best of our Politics ,MUSICS ( JAZZY B )and Movies ( Mann fame )and writing books.

    4 ) Australia nutures our Sports with regular organisation of sporting events.

    5 ) Indian Sikhs are now looks like consigned to the role of “OBSERVERS” of Global SIKHS. With drugs , illitracy ,female foeticide inflicting us. Though we still have the best farming ,soldiering , sports personels ( Bindra fame )and some very good business houses in country amongst us.

  5. Harinder says:

    I think the way i see it happening is that SIkh will continue to acquire different traits as they go living in different countries

    eg

    1 ) USA : looks like is the breeding ground for the technologist and Geeeks amongst us form the likes of Piara SIngh Gill , Harvinder Sahota , Narinder Kapnyji.

    2 ) Britian SIkhs is where our Music really flowered of Malkit Singh fame and from here we got globalised

    3 ) Canada sees the best of our Politics ,MUSICS ( JAZZY B )and Movies ( Mann fame )and writing books.

    4 ) Australia nutures our Sports with regular organisation of sporting events.

    5 ) Indian Sikhs are now looks like consigned to the role of "OBSERVERS" of Global SIKHS. With drugs , illitracy ,female foeticide inflicting us. Though we still have the best farming ,soldiering , sports personels ( Bindra fame )and some very good business houses in country amongst us.

  6. Harinder says:

    I think the way i see it happening is that SIkh will continue to acquire different traits as they go living in different countries

    eg
    1 ) USA : looks like is the breeding ground for the technologist and Geeeks amongst us form the likes of Piara SIngh Gill , Harvinder Sahota , Narinder Kapnyji.

    2 ) Britian SIkhs is where our Music really flowered of Malkit Singh fame and from here we got globalised

    3 ) Canada sees the best of our Politics ,MUSICS ( JAZZY B )and Movies ( Mann fame )and writing books.

    4 ) Australia nutures our Sports with regular organisation of sporting events.

    5 ) Indian Sikhs are now looks like consigned to the role of “OBSERVERS” of Global SIKHS. With drugs , illitracy ,female foeticide inflicting us. Though we still have the best farming ,soldiering , sports personels ( Bindra fame )and some very good business houses in country amongst us.

  7. Harinder says:

    I think the way i see it happening is that SIkh will continue to acquire different traits as they go living in different countries

    eg
    1 ) USA : looks like is the breeding ground for the technologist and Geeeks amongst us form the likes of Piara SIngh Gill , Harvinder Sahota , Narinder Kapnyji.

    2 ) Britian SIkhs is where our Music really flowered of Malkit Singh fame and from here we got globalised

    3 ) Canada sees the best of our Politics ,MUSICS ( JAZZY B )and Movies ( Mann fame )and writing books.

    4 ) Australia nutures our Sports with regular organisation of sporting events.

    5 ) Indian Sikhs are now looks like consigned to the role of “OBSERVERS” of Global SIKHS. With drugs , illitracy ,female foeticide inflicting us. Though we still have the best farming ,soldiering , sports personels ( Bindra fame )and some very good business houses in country amongst us.

  8. rocco says:

    One cannot underestimate the effect bhangra music has had on the younger generation with regards to preserving the Panjabi language.

  9. rocco says:

    One cannot underestimate the effect bhangra music has had on the younger generation with regards to preserving the Panjabi language.

  10. rocco says:

    One cannot underestimate the effect bhangra music has had on the younger generation with regards to preserving the Panjabi language.

  11. rocco says:

    One cannot underestimate the effect bhangra music has had on the younger generation with regards to preserving the Panjabi language.

  12. Jodha says:

    Let's up the level of conversation:

    Prem – If you follow some of my other posts, I don't mean the 'opt-out' to ostracize, in fact I call upon those that most associate with the tradition to embrace groups like SBS and create similar organizations that I believe will be most effective in connecting with the community. I think we are going to see more groups that embrace identity along with radical politics that come from within the tradition soon. I hope this process comes about faster.

    I, as well as the authors, definitely agree with your predictions regarding the long-term trends in the education level of Sikhs in Britain.

    Harinder – interesting picture you paint, but far too simplistic. A few individual successes do not create a picture of the entire diasporic community. Plus most of those successes that you list grew up and spent there formative years in Punjab, so I don't think you can really write off Punjab so much. One can argue maybe that they more represent 'Punjab' than whatever their diasporic community that you are using like an essentialist label. Dig deeper.

    Rocco – this point will be explored in Part 5 of our series.

    Any thoughts, anybody, on the social groups??

  13. Jodha says:

    Let's up the level of conversation:

    Prem – If you follow some of my other posts, I don't mean the 'opt-out' to ostracize, in fact I call upon those that most associate with the tradition to embrace groups like SBS and create similar organizations that I believe will be most effective in connecting with the community. I think we are going to see more groups that embrace identity along with radical politics that come from within the tradition soon. I hope this process comes about faster.

    I, as well as the authors, definitely agree with your predictions regarding the long-term trends in the education level of Sikhs in Britain.

    Harinder – interesting picture you paint, but far too simplistic. A few individual successes do not create a picture of the entire diasporic community. Plus most of those successes that you list grew up and spent there formative years in Punjab, so I don't think you can really write off Punjab so much. One can argue maybe that they more represent 'Punjab' than whatever their diasporic community that you are using like an essentialist label. Dig deeper.

    Rocco – this point will be explored in Part 5 of our series.

    Any thoughts, anybody, on the social groups??

  14. Jodha says:

    Let's up the level of conversation:

    Prem – If you follow some of my other posts, I don't mean the 'opt-out' to ostracize, in fact I call upon those that most associate with the tradition to embrace groups like SBS and create similar organizations that I believe will be most effective in connecting with the community. I think we are going to see more groups that embrace identity along with radical politics that come from within the tradition soon. I hope this process comes about faster.

    I, as well as the authors, definitely agree with your predictions regarding the long-term trends in the education level of Sikhs in Britain.

    Harinder – interesting picture you paint, but far too simplistic. A few individual successes do not create a picture of the entire diasporic community. Plus most of those successes that you list grew up and spent there formative years in Punjab, so I don't think you can really write off Punjab so much. One can argue maybe that they more represent 'Punjab' than whatever their diasporic community that you are using like an essentialist label. Dig deeper.

    Rocco – this point will be explored in Part 5 of our series.

    Any thoughts, anybody, on the social groups??

  15. Jodha says:

    Let’s up the level of conversation:

    Prem – If you follow some of my other posts, I don’t mean the ‘opt-out’ to ostracize, in fact I call upon those that most associate with the tradition to embrace groups like SBS and create similar organizations that I believe will be most effective in connecting with the community. I think we are going to see more groups that embrace identity along with radical politics that come from within the tradition soon. I hope this process comes about faster.

    I, as well as the authors, definitely agree with your predictions regarding the long-term trends in the education level of Sikhs in Britain.

    Harinder – interesting picture you paint, but far too simplistic. A few individual successes do not create a picture of the entire diasporic community. Plus most of those successes that you list grew up and spent there formative years in Punjab, so I don’t think you can really write off Punjab so much. One can argue maybe that they more represent ‘Punjab’ than whatever their diasporic community that you are using like an essentialist label. Dig deeper.

    Rocco – this point will be explored in Part 5 of our series.

    Any thoughts, anybody, on the social groups??

  16. RT says:

    Why do the women in their picture have their haircut? Is this a representative Sikh family in the 21st century? I have no problem with this, but it does create problems when some people want preserve some things and let go of others. What do people let go, what do they keep and who decides?

    As for the chapter in question above. Sikhs in the UK are a beginning to look like a classic migration story- from the factory for the Indian born to the professions for the British born. We will now see class becoming a major factor and the so called community will be split (if not already) on wealth and class lines. This has occurred to all groups in the US, other than the Black Caribbean group who generally (and deliberately due to the racist laws in the US from end of slavery to the 1960s) whop remain at the foot of the class structure. Once British born Sikhs failed to keep up with other British born Sikhs I think you will see people leave Sikhism.

    Singh and Tatla’s class analysis is wrong anyway. Sikh women do better than Sikh men. The British born outstrip the Indian by miles, there is virtually no difference. I have recently assessed class, education, etc and this is very much apparent.

    The social groups used by the authors is very limited and there assessment about the involvement in the so called communities affairs does not take into consideration – birthplace, type of business. #

    Being educated has not given way to being wealthy. No stats support this, in fact it is the opposite. The younger Sikhs are doing far better than elder Sikhs and there is also a difference due to place of birth. Younger Sikhs are also far more focussed on education and have and will have more opportunities, especially without the pressure of arranged marriage at a young age. The authors did not connect these two points. Getting married older leaves more time/space for an education. Of course, with the right qualification, the qualified can also expect to be wealthier than his/her parents. How do we assess social mobility? IMO, if you are better of than your parents – then your doing OK. The first UK born generation will be able to do this, not sure about the next generation – it might get harder.

    How many UK born Sikhs read Des Pardes? Not many, I assume.

    There is no possible way to asses family size by religion in the 1960s – so I have no idea about where the authors got that stat. On gender, Sikh women are the hardest working women in the UK. Sikh success is totally due to them, as I think the authors acknowledge. I cant remember all of the figures from memory, but one I never forget is this – of the population aged between 16 and 74 years of age (therefore the working pop) Muslims make up about 2.8 percent of that population. However, they make up about 24 percent of the population within those ages who have never worked. I can post the Sikh figures should anyone want them. However, I think most people know the hard-working nature of the group (but it should be mentioned that more Sikhs than there should be are unemployed or have never worked).

  17. RT says:

    Why do the women in their picture have their haircut? Is this a representative Sikh family in the 21st century? I have no problem with this, but it does create problems when some people want preserve some things and let go of others. What do people let go, what do they keep and who decides?
    As for the chapter in question above. Sikhs in the UK are a beginning to look like a classic migration story- from the factory for the Indian born to the professions for the British born. We will now see class becoming a major factor and the so called community will be split (if not already) on wealth and class lines. This has occurred to all groups in the US, other than the Black Caribbean group who generally (and deliberately due to the racist laws in the US from end of slavery to the 1960s) whop remain at the foot of the class structure. Once British born Sikhs failed to keep up with other British born Sikhs I think you will see people leave Sikhism.
    Singh and Tatlas class analysis is wrong anyway. Sikh women do better than Sikh men. The British born outstrip the Indian by miles, there is virtually no difference. I have recently assessed class, education, etc and this is very much apparent.
    The social groups used by the authors is very limited and there assessment about the involvement in the so called communities affairs does not take into consideration birthplace, type of business. #
    Being educated has not given way to being wealthy. No stats support this, in fact it is the opposite. The younger Sikhs are doing far better than elder Sikhs and there is also a difference due to place of birth. Younger Sikhs are also far more focussed on education and have and will have more opportunities, especially without the pressure of arranged marriage at a young age. The authors did not connect these two points. Getting married older leaves more time/space for an education. Of course, with the right qualification, the qualified can also expect to be wealthier than his/her parents. How do we assess social mobility? IMO, if you are better of than your parents then your doing OK. The first UK born generation will be able to do this, not sure about the next generation it might get harder.
    How many UK born Sikhs read Des Pardes? Not many, I assume.
    There is no possible way to asses family size by religion in the 1960s so I have no idea about where the authors got that stat. On gender, Sikh women are the hardest working women in the UK. Sikh success is totally due to them, as I think the authors acknowledge. I cant remember all of the figures from memory, but one I never forget is this of the population aged between 16 and 74 years of age (therefore the working pop) Muslims make up about 2.8 percent of that population. However, they make up about 24 percent of the population within those ages who have never worked. I can post the Sikh figures should anyone want them. However, I think most people know the hard-working nature of the group (but it should be mentioned that more Sikhs than there should be are unemployed or have never worked).

  18. RT says:

    Why do the women in their picture have their haircut? Is this a representative Sikh family in the 21st century? I have no problem with this, but it does create problems when some people want preserve some things and let go of others. What do people let go, what do they keep and who decides?
    As for the chapter in question above. Sikhs in the UK are a beginning to look like a classic migration story- from the factory for the Indian born to the professions for the British born. We will now see class becoming a major factor and the so called community will be split (if not already) on wealth and class lines. This has occurred to all groups in the US, other than the Black Caribbean group who generally (and deliberately due to the racist laws in the US from end of slavery to the 1960s) whop remain at the foot of the class structure. Once British born Sikhs failed to keep up with other British born Sikhs I think you will see people leave Sikhism.
    Singh and Tatlas class analysis is wrong anyway. Sikh women do better than Sikh men. The British born outstrip the Indian by miles, there is virtually no difference. I have recently assessed class, education, etc and this is very much apparent.
    The social groups used by the authors is very limited and there assessment about the involvement in the so called communities affairs does not take into consideration birthplace, type of business. #
    Being educated has not given way to being wealthy. No stats support this, in fact it is the opposite. The younger Sikhs are doing far better than elder Sikhs and there is also a difference due to place of birth. Younger Sikhs are also far more focussed on education and have and will have more opportunities, especially without the pressure of arranged marriage at a young age. The authors did not connect these two points. Getting married older leaves more time/space for an education. Of course, with the right qualification, the qualified can also expect to be wealthier than his/her parents. How do we assess social mobility? IMO, if you are better of than your parents then your doing OK. The first UK born generation will be able to do this, not sure about the next generation it might get harder.
    How many UK born Sikhs read Des Pardes? Not many, I assume.
    There is no possible way to asses family size by religion in the 1960s so I have no idea about where the authors got that stat. On gender, Sikh women are the hardest working women in the UK. Sikh success is totally due to them, as I think the authors acknowledge. I cant remember all of the figures from memory, but one I never forget is this of the population aged between 16 and 74 years of age (therefore the working pop) Muslims make up about 2.8 percent of that population. However, they make up about 24 percent of the population within those ages who have never worked. I can post the Sikh figures should anyone want them. However, I think most people know the hard-working nature of the group (but it should be mentioned that more Sikhs than there should be are unemployed or have never worked).

  19. Mewa Singh says:

    Interesting analysis RT, but you'll have to clarify a few of your statements for me.

    Once British born Sikhs failed to keep up with other British born Sikhs I think you will see people leave Sikhism.

    Are you suggesting they will become Christian, Hindu, Muslim, atheists or agnostics?

    On your point about:

    The social groups used by the authors is very limited and there assessment about the involvement in the so called communities affairs does not take into consideration – birthplace, type of business.

    Granted the limitations of the groups, what do you suggest? From your experience, how does birthplace and type of business affect 'involvement'?

    As far as:

    Being educated has not given way to being wealthy. No stats support this, in fact it is the opposite.

    At least from my experience in the states, I would say that amongst our parents generation being a 'moti sami' translates the farthest in terms of political capital within the community.

    Even here in the US, with the downturn in the economy you will see more Sikhs applying to medical school and law school (which will reflect national trends) and less applying to business school. This should provide some clue of the importance of wealth compared to education.

    Even here in The Langar Hall, I have seen articles on 26 year old millionaires, but I doubt I would see the same coverage on a 26 year old that had attained a PhD.

  20. Mewa Singh says:

    Interesting analysis RT, but you'll have to clarify a few of your statements for me.

    Once British born Sikhs failed to keep up with other British born Sikhs I think you will see people leave Sikhism.

    Are you suggesting they will become Christian, Hindu, Muslim, atheists or agnostics?

    On your point about:

    The social groups used by the authors is very limited and there assessment about the involvement in the so called communities affairs does not take into consideration – birthplace, type of business.

    Granted the limitations of the groups, what do you suggest? From your experience, how does birthplace and type of business affect 'involvement'?

    As far as:

    Being educated has not given way to being wealthy. No stats support this, in fact it is the opposite.

    At least from my experience in the states, I would say that amongst our parents generation being a 'moti sami' translates the farthest in terms of political capital within the community.

    Even here in the US, with the downturn in the economy you will see more Sikhs applying to medical school and law school (which will reflect national trends) and less applying to business school. This should provide some clue of the importance of wealth compared to education.

    Even here in The Langar Hall, I have seen articles on 26 year old millionaires, but I doubt I would see the same coverage on a 26 year old that had attained a PhD.

  21. Mewa Singh says:

    Interesting analysis RT, but you’ll have to clarify a few of your statements for me.

    Once British born Sikhs failed to keep up with other British born Sikhs I think you will see people leave Sikhism.

    Are you suggesting they will become Christian, Hindu, Muslim, atheists or agnostics?

    On your point about:

    The social groups used by the authors is very limited and there assessment about the involvement in the so called communities affairs does not take into consideration birthplace, type of business.

    Granted the limitations of the groups, what do you suggest? From your experience, how does birthplace and type of business affect ‘involvement’?

    As far as:

    Being educated has not given way to being wealthy. No stats support this, in fact it is the opposite.

    At least from my experience in the states, I would say that amongst our parents generation being a ‘moti sami’ translates the farthest in terms of political capital within the community.

    Even here in the US, with the downturn in the economy you will see more Sikhs applying to medical school and law school (which will reflect national trends) and less applying to business school. This should provide some clue of the importance of wealth compared to education.

    Even here in The Langar Hall, I have seen articles on 26 year old millionaires, but I doubt I would see the same coverage on a 26 year old that had attained a PhD.

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