Desi Dreams focuses on the construction of self and identity by Indian immigrant professional and semi-professional women who live and work in the US. Some of the major issues that this ethnographic study discusses are: What are the selves and identities of professional Indian women? How is the continuity of selves and identities accomplished when these women find themselves constantly shuttling between the starkly different expectations of American society and workplace on one hand, and the Indian immigrant home and community on the other?
The focus in this anthropological fieldwork is on Indian immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have often been defined as a model minority. Indian immigrant women who have achieved entry into the current technology based economy in the Silicon Valley value the capital accumulation, status-transformation, socio-economic autonomy, and renegotiation of familial gender relations that are made possible by their employment. However, this quintessential American success story conceals the psychic costs of uneasy Americanization, long drawn out gender battles, and incessant cross-cultural journeys of selves and identities. The outcome is a diasporic identity through the recomposition of Indian culture in the diaspora and strengthening of transnational ties to India.