Professor Tahseen Shams begins new SSHRC-funded research project studying interracial and interfaith relationships among South Asian Muslim Immigrants

Professor Tahseen Shams has recently begun a new research project titled “Race, Religion, and Romance: A Comparative Study of Interracial and Interfaith Unions in Canada and the United States Using the Case of South Asian Muslim Immigrants.”

The project, that was recently funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant, seeks to  “understand the personal, social, and political factors that encourage and discourage Muslim South Asian immigrants from dating and marrying outside of their communities.” Insight Grants are provided by SSHRC to faculty members whose research has the promise to “deepen, widen and increase our collective understanding of individuals and societies, as well as to inform the search for solutions to societal challenges.”

For this project, Professor Shams and her graduate students will interview 160 individuals — both Muslim South Asian immigrants and their non-Muslim, non-South Asian peers. They will then analyze the interview data to understand the opportunities and barriers to interracial and interfaith romantic relationships in Canada and the US. The project will provide depth to the scholarly literature in immigrant integration that has sometimes seen marriage as an unproblematic measure of assimilation.

Professor Tahseen Shams is an Assistant Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities on the St. George campus, and the 2020-21 Bissell-Heyd Research Fellow at the University of Toronto. Her research examines topics such as international migration, globalization, race/ethnicity, and nationalism. For more information on Professor Shams’ research please visit her website.