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School of Law

Ms Preet Kaur Virdi

BA Hons.(Toronto), MA Socio-Legal Studies (York)


Prit Kaur Virdi
Ms Preet Kaur Virdi
Email address:
Thesis title:
Accessing justice when Families Breakdown: Divorcing South Asian women in Ontario, Canada
Year of Study:
Year three
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

When faced with family relationship breakdown, how, when and why do South Asian women access justice?  Globalization and migration has meant political and judicial systems of Western nations are increasingly challenged (Mehdi et al, 2008:15).  My doctoral research contributes to debates about access to justice in ‘super-diverse’ (Vertovec 2007) societies concentrating on South Asian women’s access to family law. Sikh women involved in divorce proceedings in Ontario serve as a case study, investigating how they navigate their cultural and religious traditions, and the formal legal system.  My research objective is to contribute to scholarly debates about the relationship between immigrant cultures and the formal legal system and to policy debates about how we ensure equal access to the law for marginalized members of super-diverse societies.

PhD Publications

Virdi, Preet Kaur. 'Barriers to Canadian Justice: Immigrant Sikh women and izzat', Journal of South Asian Diaspora, volume 5 issue 1 (2013).

PhD Conferences

  • “The breakdown of transnational arranged marriages: Sikh divorce in Ontario” presented at Transnational Families and the Law workshop at International Institute for the Sociology of Law (2012)
  • “The breakdown of transnational arranged marriages: Sikh divorce in Ontario”  presented at UNILU Gender and Law Programme (2012)
  • ‘Constructing legal consciousness in multicultural contexts: Report from Fieldwork’ presented at SOAS School of Law postgraduate seminar (2011)
  • ‘Discursive effects of Izzat’ presented at the Assessing the Complexities of South Asian Migration Conference, Wilfred Laurier University, Canada (2011)
  • ‘Examining the silencing effects of izzat’ presented at the Postgraduate and Early Career Academics Network of Scholars (PECANS) conference held at Westminster University, UK (2011)


Canadian Law & Society Association, Socio-Legal Studies Association


Access to justice, Socio-Legal theory, Legal consciousness, Diaspora and migration studies, gender studies, Sikh studies.