Child-rearing in ethnic minorities by Jagjit Singh Dosanjh, Paul Avtar Singh Ghuman

By Jagjit Singh Dosanjh, Paul Avtar Singh Ghuman

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Nevertheless, Page x because families tend to be large there is not enough land for all the sons to inherit a viable amount of farmland and there has been a long tradition of young men being forced to emigrate to many different parts of the world in order to try and make a reasonable living. Typically, the Punjabi population arriving in Britain initially consisted of single young men who were attempting to improve themselves financially by seeking their fortunes abroad. Many of these young men were reasonably well educated and had therefore expected to be able to pursue skilled and professional vocations in Britain; but they often found that in practice their qualifications were not recognised in this country, and they would then be forced to take rather menial jobs, and work very long hours, simply in order to survive economically.

Research has also been completed dealing with the children of Caribbean immigrants living in Britain, and with children living in the Kingdom of Lesotho. Moreover, the structured but open-ended interview pioneered by the Nottingham Child Development Research Unit has inspired a number of other studies of child-rearing practices in places as far apart as Japan, Greece and New Zealand. In their work on the children of Punjabi immigrant parents, Dosanjh and Ghuman were therefore in a position to benefit from the experiences of a number of different psychologists who had tried to grapple with the problems of comparative research in a wide variety of very different family and cultural contexts.

For instance, in making any kinds of statistical comparisons there is a difficulty in deciding what would be a comparable group within the indigenous population. The first generation of Punjabi immigrants were not simply moving to a strange new land, they were also leaving a predominantly rural background to adopt an urban lifestyle. The Punjab is a relatively affluent region of India. The land is fertile and well irrigated, and with improved farming practices has become prosperous and productive.

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