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Renaming Practices: An Autoethnography of South Asian Names, Identity, and Belonging

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posted on 2021-05-22, 15:58 authored by Mandeep Kaur Mann
Names have been linked to various aspects of identity including ethnicity and language, and family. Studies have shown that the proper use of children’s names can reinforce and validate their identity. Research on renaming throughout Canadian history shows how these practices have the ability to dismantle and remove or alter identity. South Asians represent a large portion of Ontario’s population. However when their names do not conform to the dominant western culture, South Asians can be marginalized through racist microaggressions that contribute to their renaming. This paper is guided by critical race theory and Desi critical theory and explores the significance of my use of different names and why I chose and continue to choose these names. Using an autoethnographic approach I reflect on my name alteration experiences from my childhood and youth to explore how renaming practices can and do further marginalize minority children. Keywords: renaming practices; naming; South Asian; identity; belonging; childhood; autoethnography





Master of Arts


Early Childhood Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type