In this study I explore how the beliefs and practices of Hindu American women are changed after they have children. In Hinduism, a woman's dharma, or duty, dictates that her role is to care for her husband and children. I ask how this plays into the changes in women's religious lives once they become mothers. I examine whether or not vrats, or fasting and prayers, become a larger part of Hindu women's religious practice. I ask 4 major questions: 1) How does the cosmological view of women affect their children? 2) How do traditionally Hindu understandings of motherhood dictate the ways that women enculturate their children? 3) How is mothering changed for Hindu immigrant women because they are raising their children in America? 4) How do Hindu women find freedom and agency in their role as immigrant mothers? The study is a qualitative analysis conducted via interviews with seven Hindu mothers between the ages of 40 and 72, all residents of Ohio.


Kardulias, P. Nicholas


Sociology and Anthropology


Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Women and religion, Hinduism, Immigrant

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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