Parental influence on career choices of Indian-Australian women

Amarpreet Kaur, Jane Southcott

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This research investigated the effect of parental influences during the process of choosing a career for firstgeneration Indian-Australian women. Indians form an established community in Melbourne with thousands of Indian- Australian students studying in Australian universities. These students and their families come from varied cultures, with different familial and cultural values and different career motivations. This qualitative case study employed semistructured interviews to collect data from two families (children and parents). Data from transcripts were analysed thematically. The research found that the two first-generation Indian-Australian women interviewed were influenced by their parents' values as well as their own internalised pressure to gain parental approval. Although the participant sample is small, a well-chosen and crafted single case can illuminate the functioning of a social system. This Australian study illustrates how globally diasporic Indian families engage in parent-child conversations about careers and education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalThe International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Career choices
  • Indian-Australian women
  • Parental approval
  • Parental influence

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