Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Counseling and Educational Leadership

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Leslie Kooyman

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Angela Sheely-Moore

Committee Member

Kathryn Herr

Committee Member

Dana Heller Levitt


This original and topical qualitative study explored the lived experiences of ten Indian women technology professionals working in the U.S. on non-immigrant H-1B visas. This study examined the role of cultural socialization and acculturative processes in the development of cultural identity. Narratives of the participants were interpreted using the Voice-Relational Listening Guide (Brown & Gilligan, 1992; Gilligan, 1982, 2015; Gilligan, Spencer, Weinberg, & Bertsch, 2006). The first theme of negotiated compromises explored the impact of gender role expectations associated with cultural socialization on career and marriage options, relational interdependence, and adaptation to changing sociocultural environments. The second theme of cultural plasticity interpreted ways in which the participants adapted their ethnic identity and cultural values in keeping with gender role expectations of their heritage culture as well as adaptations to global exposure. Concepts of the Acculturation model (Berry, 1997, 2005, 2010, 2013; Sam & Berry, 2010), Relational-Cultural Theory (Jordan, Kaplan, Miller, Stiver, & Surrey, 1991), and Third Space Theory (Bhabha, 2004) were used to present a rich discussion of acculturation, familial and cultural connection, cultural conformity and cultural adaptation. The findings revealed that these lived experiences of work-related relocation of a temporary nature were associated with cultural anchoring as well as global exposure, and it enabled these women to develop cultural hybridity (Bhabha, 2004).

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