Asian Indian Professionals: The Culture of Success by Sabeen Sandhu

By Sabeen Sandhu

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He argues that the family reunification provision fuels the migration of poor quality immigrants, unlike high quality immigrants like him and many other Asian Indian elites. Irman expressed fear over the prospects of family reunification and forecasts that every qualified engineer begets at least ten “poor quality” immigrants who are culturally intransigent and do not achieve the exceptional feats of Asian Indian elites. S. citizens. S citizens to petition for family members. S. could also apply for family reunification, however did so through the second preference of the act.

He noted that they forgo many of America’s favorite pastimes, eat only Indian food, watch Bollywood films and Indian satellite television, and predominantly socialize with fellow Asian Indian H-1B recipients. As a result Irman argues they are at a disadvantage and will not reach the level of success of himself and his generation. Hence, Irman’s concerns are two-fold; he not only expresses concern over the mobility prospects for recent Asian Indian immigrants, “poor quality,” which even include highly skilled H-1B visa recipients, but also over the impact that their perceived cultural intransigence has on the image of highly successful Asian Indian elites like himself.

While one would think that Asian Indian elites face the challenge of living up to such labels, the opposite is true. They, instead, face the challenge of being exceptions to these labels. They argue that these labels are merely applicable to the wider Asian Indian community and, as elites, they see themselves as atypical Asian Indians. They define their success in terms of how they exceed or are exceptions to common stereotypes like being smart, culturally intransigent, or poor communicators. When they display behaviors and articulate scripts in direct contrast to these stereotypes, they are constructing and defining the culture of success for Asian Indian elites.

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