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Hemalatha Ganapathy-Coleman

Assistant Professor

Area of Research

Culturally diverse parenting values and beliefs (ethnotheories); Parental ethnotheories among Asian Indian families in India, the USA and Canada; Educational ethnotheories among low- and middle-income Hindu and Muslim parents in India; Socialization into religion and culture; Ethnic and racial identity; Qualitative and Ethnographic methods.


My ethnographic and qualitative research is focused on the culturally based beliefs, or ethnotheories, of Asian Indian parents, both immigrants in the United States and Canada, and parents living in the state of Gujarat, India. I am interested in the strategies that parents use to socialize their children into their particular ideas of “the good” as related to religion, education, and ethnic identity as they live a life at the confluence of often-conflicting demands. Of special concern to me are the everyday routines, recurrent tactics and language that parents use to socialize their children into the values and goals that they cherish. My current project examines ideas about educational success and failure held by Hindu and Muslim parents and teachers of low and middle socioeconomic status in India.

Ph.D. (Applied Developmental Psychology), University of Maryland Baltimore County