Griffith Asia Institute Public Lecture: The Other One Percent: Indians in America

Griffith Asia Institute Public Lecture: The Other One Percent: Indians in America
Griffith Asia Institute Public Lecture: The Other One Percent: Indians in America

Principal speaker

Professor Sanjoy Chakravorty


Presented by: Sanjoy Chakravorty, Professor of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University 

One of the most remarkable stories of immigration in the last half-century is that of Indians to the United States.  People of Indian origin make up a little over 1 percent of the American population now, up from barely half a percent at the turn of the millennium. Not only has its recent growth been extraordinary, but this population from a developing nation with low human capital is now the most educated and highest income group in the world’s most advanced nation.  This is a careful, data-driven, comprehensive account of the three core processes—selection, assimilation, and entrepreneurship—that have led to this rapid rise. This unique phenomenon is driven by—and, in turn, has influenced—wide-ranging changes, especially the ongoing revolution in information technology and its impact on economic globalization, immigration policies in the United States, higher education policies in India, and foreign policies of both nations. 

This talk covers a portion of the key findings in the book.  It details the selection processes both in India and the U.S.—what Professor Chakravorty and his colleagues term a “triple selection”—that has made Indians an exceptionally successful outlier community, and the technological changes and policies that have strengthened these selection processes. Professor Chakravorty and his colleagues show that Indians have the highest levels of educational attainment, work most intensively in skill-based industries, and have the highest family incomes in comparison to all subgroups of the U.S. population. These factors, combined with social and family norms imported from the subcontinent, have largely insulated them from the structural inequalities in American society.  The second part of the talk focuses on the demographic and spatial diversity of Indian Americans by disaggregating them by the geography of origin in India and the geography of settlement in the United States.  This highlights the clusters, concentrations, and inequalities among Indian Americans—by language, education, occupation, income, and settlement pattern. 

Sanjoy Chakravorty is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University.  He has written on urbanization, industrialization, income distribution, and land.  He is the author or co-author of six books.  The most recent are The Price of Land: Acquisition, Conflict, Consequence (2013); The Other One Percent: Indians in America (2016), and his first novel, The Promoter (2015).  Now he is working on the manuscript of The Truth About Us: India Invented and Unknown.

To RSVP, please contact Christine Kowalski on (07) 3735 4705 or by 5.00pm Monday 8 August 2016.

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