PhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron co-authors article on South Asian youth’s resistance to cultural deviancy

PhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron, in collaboration with Professors Arshia Zaidi and Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, has published an article in International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, entitled “‘Should I or should I not?’: An exploration of South Asian youth’s resistance to cultural deviancy.” The article investigates how South Asian youth navigate dating and sexuality with regards to competing cultural value systems that exist between their heritage country and host country.

Amanda Couture-Carron is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto studying pathways to deviance across immigrant generations.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below.

Zaidi, A., Couture-Carron, A. & Maticka-Tyndale, E. (2013). “Should I or should I not?”: An exploration of South Asian youth’s resistance to cultural deviancy. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 4(2), 232-251.

Being and belonging to a South Asian family in Canada does not come without struggles. One theme that has consistently dominated the literature on South Asian immigrant families is the competing cultural value systems that exist between the East (heritage country) and the West (host country). The two cultural scripts adhere to contradictory lifestyle scripts, especially with respect to social and sexual aspects of life. In an individualistic host country, like Canada, things such as dating and sexuality are much more accepted and normalised. These same social endeavours in collectivistic South Asian cultures, where social controls such as family, culture, religion and community dominate decision-making, are stigmatised. In South Asian cultures, these activities are considered culturally deviant because they pose a direct threat to the honour of the family. Using semi-structured interviews, the goal of this study is twofold: first, to uncover the intimate relationship realities of South Asian youth; and second, to understand why some South Asian youth resist cultural deviancy by applying Travis Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data revealed four themes that help explain why some participants avoided dating relationships and/or sexual activities, which include attachment to others/affection, commitment to conventional lines of action, involvement in conventional activities, belief system and lack of opportunity.