Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Kurien, Prema A.


India, International migration, Parenting, Return migrants, Schooling, Youth

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Why do highly educated, affluent, and seemingly well-settled immigrants leave their country of migration and return to their country of origin? How do return migrants prepare their children to become the next generation of transnationally mobile professionals? As a result of their upbringing in two countries, how do transnationally mobile children and youth understand their ethnic identity and national belonging? I address these questions, and more, by analyzing 95 conversations with Indian and first-generation Indian American return migrants, their children, and Indian American alumni of local high schools who live in Bangalore, a city in South India known as 'Silicon Valley.' In doing so, I describe how the global IT industry affects the lives of a segment of the transnational elite.

Further, I show how the availability of 'good' schools enables parents to move without negatively affecting, and in some ways enhancing, their ability to secure important educational and professional advantages for their children. I document how return migrant parents strategically and effectively use Bangalore-based schools to prepare their children to tackle the challenges and opportunities available in the global economy. Meanwhile the children in these transnationally mobile families, having grown up within two countries before becoming adults, express forms of ethnic identity and national belonging that demonstrate their unique social position vis-à-vis their similarities to and differences from US-raised Indian Americans and India-raised Indians. Thus, through this project, I reveal how changes in the global economy create new mobility patterns and parenting practices, which subsequently produce new ways of being and belonging.


Open Access

Available for download on Friday, February 07, 2025

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