Indian American versus South Asian American advocacy organisations: diasporic political activism in the U.S.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Why do some diasporic activists gravitate towards ethnic organisations while others mobilise around a panethnic paradigm, and what difference does this make for patterns of activism? A prominent division among secular activists of Indian American background is that some individuals prefer to mobilise as ‘Indian Americans’ while others are active as ‘South Asian Americans.’ There are fundamental differences in the strategies, goals, and broader alliance patterns of these two types of advocacy organisations. This article argues that this is because each type of organisation is responding to specific frameworks and incentives for mobilisation within the U.S. landscape with immigrant leaders rallying around Indian American organisations focused on foreign policy, while second generation activists mobilise around South Asian American organisations focused on domestic policy, particularly racism and civil rights. It makes an important contribution by showing how generational difference can shape the goals and strategies of advocacy organisations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSouth Asian Diaspora
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Indian American lobby
  • South Asian American mobilisation
  • ethnic advocacy organisations
  • ethnic mobilisation
  • generation and activism
  • panethnic mobilisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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