Harleen Kaur Bal

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Davis, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10674

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Bal, Harleen (California, Davis, U. of) "Contestations of Quotidian Work-Life among California’s Punjabi Working Families within Contemporary U.S. Capitalism"

The anthropology of work has considered diasporic labor on the one hand, and work’s permeation into the lives of workers on the other; this research strives to consider the intersection by focusing on intergenerational Punjabi families with members who take on “blue-collar” and “white-collar” work. This study examines how Punjabi intergenerational families within California conceive of and negotiate various forms of work across class in the context of migration and contemporary capitalism. A significant portion of the roughly 500,000 Punjabi-Americans in the U.S. work in California’s food and transportation sectors with a multigenerational history of migration, although they are often grouped solely into the “skilled” Indian immigration wave of post-1965 (Brack 2015). This project explores how Punjabi intergenerational workers offer a nuanced perspective that further complicates conventional framings of the American post-Fordist worker through their everyday practices, social networks, cultural values, and informal economies in the context of contemporary U.S. capitalism.