"It's the same rain": using interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore parenting experiences of Bengali speaking immigrants to Canada

Dutta, Debashis (2018) "It's the same rain": using interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore parenting experiences of Bengali speaking immigrants to Canada. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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For immigrant parents, the desire to settle successfully for the sake of their children can complicate their own processes of acculturation and adjustment. Bengali speaking immigrants are an immigrant group for which there has been inadequate attention in the social work literature. Theory underpinning the study centred around acculturation, identity, and resiliency. This study employed Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to explore the changes Bengali speaking immigrants endured as they parented their children in Canada. Thirteen participants were interviewed to ascertain how their immigration and acculturation experiences influenced their parenting. Several key findings permeated the analysis. Acculturation and immigration to Canada accentuated gender differences between women and men. Women’ silence was larger in a Canadian context, and their expressed losses were larger. Parenting was informed by the immigrants’ sensitivity to their children’s need to fit in, and parents were generally amenable but there were costs, such as discarding cultural pieces from the past (fathers) while using introspection in the present to maintain family togetherness (mothers). The difference in parent-child relationships was in parental authority, which shifted from deference to discussion, from impositions to negotiations. Finally, parents made Canada their home, but on their own terms, and resilience came from choice, experiences of racism, felt losses, and wisdom. A clear gender and power theme emerged favouring men’s faster acculturation and accompanying greater dominance over women. Several graphical models illustrate the analyses, and propose ways for social workers to engage more empathically with immigrants. Limitations of the study and implications for future research are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13914
Item ID: 13914
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 239-270).
Keywords: immigration, Bengali, parenting, acculturation, resilience, interpretative phenomenological analysis, south asia, indian
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: October 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bengali (South Asian people)--Canada; Immigrants--Canada; Assimilation (Sociology)--Canada; Canada--Emigration and immigration--Social aspects

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