Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Jack Turner

First Reader

Kaitlin Boyle


Sikhs have been largely ignored in the literature surrounding social justice and religious tolerance. The many pressures Sikhs face, and the social assumptions that lead to them, must be brought into the broader conversation on these issues so that educators and politicians might help support the well-being of the Sikh community. Sikh identity has been misinterpreted and redefined in modern day American society. The lack of cultural and religious literacy of many Americans, coupled with Sikhs’ distinct visible identity, has led to xenophobic violence against Sikhs since their arrival in the U.S. more than a century ago. The root of religious discrimination are hidden in race. Discriminations and racialization experienced by people of color has been researched and shown to have an effect on a person’s place in society, psyche, and their self-identity. This research aims to examining the history of South Asian Americans and their experience. The literature analysis on the Sikh experience is contextualized by assessing trends through intersectionality and misconceptions in modern American society. Based on this analysis, a syllabus for a course on these concepts was created.

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