Asian Indian Professionals: The Culture of Success by Sabeen Sandhu

By Sabeen Sandhu

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20 Most male members, like Gary, regarded them as someone’s wife, sibling, or daughter, and not competition: Off and on we get women, but for the most part it is men. Indian women…the girls…the different ethnic backgrounds from back in Indian…number one, I don’t think based on the 20 Lee’s (2002: 219-226) experience is similar. As she collected data for her study on merchant-customer relations in New York and Philadelphia, study participants viewed her according to the gender roles of either a daughter or a sex object.

Although he admitted that he also speaks with a slight Asian Indian accent, he still found it amusing to parody it. Devan suggests that Asian Indians need to take accent reduction courses so it will make it easier for American people to accept them. He elaborates, Having an Indian accent is a problem. Not for me, but for a lot of other people. I think it affects a lot of the things that they do socially and professionally. Thick Indian accents, from what I understand, are not the most exciting thing to hear.

Exchanges like this highlight that one can simultaneously occupy the status of an insider and outsider. I am an insider because I am of Asian Indian ethnicity, am an accepted club member, and am on my way to being a professional, albeit in a nontraditional sense. On the other hand, I am an outsider because of my lower social status as a middle class graduate student. Being an insider and outsider constrains and enables research. For example, being an outsider in terms of social class and status enables research in the sense that it elicits comparison by members.

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