In Spring 2009, the South Asian Diaspora mini-Mosaic engaged students in community-based research with the South Asian community in central Pennsylvania. Students are taking an integrated pair of courses co-taught by Professors Rose: Researching Diasporic Communities: Qualitative Research Methods (Soc 240) and Staub, Lived Religion: Inter-Group Relations in the Indian American Diaspora (Religion260/Sociology230).
In visiting temples, mosques, and gudwaras, as well as conducting multi-generatonal interviews, students are gaining an understanding of this diverse group of relatively recent (im)migrants and the ways in which they contribute to American society. The research focuses on the construction of identities in local and global contexts; family, work, and migration narratives; intergenerational relationships and dynamics; religion and inter-group relations; and community building.
Fullbright scholar Dr. Somdatta Mandal of Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, India is also lending her perspective to the teaching of this mini-Mosaic.