Marginality and Theology of New Marginality
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A pastoral theology for Asian-Indian immigrant families that fear the family declension and intergenerational conflict that effects the development of the self must attend to the issues of marginality. Marginality is a major aspect of both first- and second-generation immigrants’ experience in the United States, with each group experiencing marginality somewhat differently, like all other people of color do in every area of their lives. However, the level of marginality and the emotional pain that second-generation immigrants experience differ significantly from that of first-generation immigrants. First of all, second-generation immigrants who are born, raised, socialized, and educated in the United States, speaking the same language with the same accent, and mostly thinking and acting like their American counterparts, are often viewed as being marginal or “others” in their own land. When they return to their parental community, they are also marginalized there and regarded as a minority, as they are not considered as fully Indian. It is a double marginality—marginality in mainstream American society and in the dominant immigrant (parental) community. For this very reason, the different levels of marginality experienced by those in the Indian immigrant community manifest themselves as intergenerational conflict. This requires our serious attention.