Room 300, School of Arts and Sciences
The presentation explores the challenges faced by Skilled Indian Women Immigrants (SIWI) while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and their use of agency to handle it. The study argues for linking pre- and post-migration lived experiences of aspiring and actual female immigrants. This will help better understand how they use their everyday agency to handle restrictions in daily life that intersects with uncertainty in immigration processes. The findings of this multi-method study were interpreted and discussed in the backdrop of a contextual understanding of the increasing immigration of high-skilled women to Canada with concerns around the complex dynamics of gender relationships in Indian society. Canadian immigrant pathways to citizenship were once distinct from international study opportunities; while now, international students are temporary labour migrants. As they acquire knowledge and experience, they are skilled immigrants. The presentation also discusses the disparity between aspirants' envisioned lives and immigrants' lived experiences. The research urges to examine the conventional research on acculturative stress and the perspectives of cross-cultural psychology to understand the narratives and lived experiences of a new generation of immigrants.
Professor Urmi Nanda Biswas is an applied social and health psychologist. She has been a recipient of the Commonwealth Fellowship. She received several research awards to work as Senior Research Fellow at Roehampton University, London, and Visiting Professor at Gothenburg University, Sweden. She explores the social psychology of health in the Indian socio-cultural context. She is deeply engaged in social and behavioural intervention studies concerning health issues among vulnerable groups like seniors, adolescent girls, women immigrants and others. She has undertaken international and national research projects with funding agencies like British council (UK), Population Council (New York), Commonwealth Secretariat (UK), SIDA and FORTE from Sweden, and Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, UGC, ICMR and ICSSR from New Delhi. Currently she is gearing up to do multi-site global collaborative research on mental health of university students and holistic well-being of menopausal women. She has been in the editorial board of several national and international journals.