A drastic change in immigration legislation in the United States in 1965 led thousands of professionals to immigrate into the United States from Asia. Among those immigrants were Indian Hindus who upon arrival began a complex process of diaspora formation. Many of these immigrants did not come on a temporary basis but they came to stay; to pursue education and careers, and to raise their families. In order to continue their religious lives, prayer groups began to congregate in rec halls and temple communities formed in storefronts. As these groups grew too large for these spaces, temples were built. These temples are not merely places of worship but spaces in which cultural identities can be acted out in the diaspora. The research in this study consists of participant observation, interviews, and archival analysis at a dozen Hindu temples in the United States. The resulting work shows the various roles of temples in the preservation and re-creation of Hindu-American identity.


Matsuzawa, Setsuko


Sociology and Anthropology


Asian Studies | Hindu Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Hinduism, Diaspora, Anthropology of Religion, Identity

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2017 Brenton David Kalinowski