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Author: Roli Varma

Abstract

This article focuses on the existence of the "glass ceiling" to upward career mobility experienced by Asian Americans in professional occupations. It questions the recent portrayal of Asian Americans as a "model minority" who have "made it" in America. Instead, it shows that despite their good record of achievement, Asian Americans do not reach a level at which they can participate in policy and decision-making responsibilities. This article builds on the emerging glass ceiling literature by Asian American scholars, while examining social/cultural complexities, peculiarities, and nuances in private companies, government agencies, and institutions of higher education.

In: Asian Journal of Social Science
Author: Vrinda Varma

Without attempting to unify women’s experiences with food and cooking, and without attempting to localise both food and women in the culture that they are a part of, this chapter investigates how women identify with and are identified in relation to food. Food in this chapter is taken as a postmodern text in which multiple meanings are embedded; the question of how women imagine the creation of the self as detailed by her psychological, emotional and physical responses to food and eating, consumption and rejection are studied. This chapter examines three memoirs for this purpose: A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber and Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunée.

In: Odysseys of Plates and Palates: Food, Society and Sociality
Author: Roli Varma

Abstract

Foreign-born scientists and engineers are increasingly present in technology companies in the United States. Some of them are immigrants, that is, aliens admitted to the US for lawful permanent residence; others are non-immigrants, that is, aliens admitted to the US for a specific period of time for temporary work. Whether immigrant or non-immigrant, an overwhelming majority of foreign-born scientists and engineers enter the US technology sector through one single H-1B visa program. Using a case study of Indian engineers, this article shows different sub-paths of the H-1B visa program, which leads to significant differences in their immigration, work, and socio-economic experiences. The article is based on the secondary sources and 40 in-depth interviews conducted with Indian engineers working in US technology companies.

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
In: Critical Companion to Contemporary Marxism

In recent years, the “brain drain” experienced by developing countries, as their scientists and engineers chose to work and live permanently in developed countries, is seen as reversing. Although a reverse brain drain is projected as a new trend, a substantial number of immigrant scientists and engineers continue to work and live in developed countries. This paper presents the reasons why Indian faculty in science and engineering stay in the United States. Data for this study come from 51 in-depth interviews of faculty members of Indian origin working in various research universities across the us. Findings show that, although Indian faculty came to the us for higher education without intending to become permanent residents, they chose to stay mostly due to the research opportunities, favorable work environments, career prospects and lifestyle preferences available in the us. They cope with the absence of family and cultural distance through periodic visits to India and by developing professional relationships with scientists and engineers in their home country—activities that facilitate transnational migration. The study adds validity to the international migration theory, which has not taken this particular group of faculty into consideration.

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
Author: Roli Varma

Abstract

In the past, large multinational corporations led entrepreneurial activities in the technology sector, creating value and stimulating growth by bringing new ideas to market. Further, they were in charge of the growth internationally. In the last two decades, however, immigrants have increased their percentage in starting technology companies in the United States, as well as investing in technology companies, building business partnerships, allocating resources, exchanging information, and tapping technical expertise in their home countries. This paper presents a case study of Indian immigrants in the U.S. technology sector to demonstrate how entrepreneurialism is changing with transnational migration. Indian immigrants are actively contributing to an emergent global reality where the borders containing them in the field of technology are increasingly virtual, and beyond the control of any country.

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
Author: Roli Varma

Abstract

International migration cannot be viewed as a byproduct of globalization since people have been migrating for centuries. However, globalization has given rise to a new kind of immigration, where a growing variety of interconnected social activities are taking place among technical immigrants at a high speed irrespective of their geographical location. The advent of instant online communication and the ability to share discoveries, inventions, advances, documents, and pictures in real time, as well as safe, easy, and fast travel options have made the traditional notions of borders, immigration, and even assimilation obsolete. This paper looks at how the tenets of immigration under globalization seem to be becoming outmoded as scientific knowledge flows between India and the U.S. It is based on the review of literature on the subject and in-depth interviews conducted in 2002-2004 with 120 Indian scientists and engineers from both countries.

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
Authors: Hongzhen Wang, Varma, and Xu
Bamboo is an integral part of the civilization and tradition in almost all countries where it is grown. In Asia, the major bamboo-growing area of the world, the bamboo industry is closely linked to people’s daily lives and plays an important role in national economies.
However, as bamboos are grown more and more intensively in plantations, the need for a better understanding of and an increased vigilance against bamboo insect pests becomes both essential and urgent. This book represents an important step toward publicizing the threat posed by these pests, and provides a comprehensive and consolidated account of existing knowledge.
In: Nematologica

Abstract

This article presents findings on international research collaboration from a National Science Foundation-funded study with 83 faculty in science and engineering (S&E) who returned to India after studying and working in the United States. These faculty members were brought up in the Indian socio-cultural context, but they were professionalized in the scientific culture of Western academia. When they returned to India to take a faculty position, they knew collaborators in the US with desired skills, including their advisors. Yet, returned Indian migrant faculty face significant challenges in establishing successful international research collaboration with their American peers. Interestingly, this is not the case with collaborators from Europe and other parts of the world with whom they had little connection before moving to India. Findings show some inequities that exist between scientists and engineers in the US and India that pertain to resources and attitudes towards collaboration.

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology