'Locating MIA: ‘Race’, commodification and the politics of production'

Saha, Anamik. 2012. 'Locating MIA: ‘Race’, commodification and the politics of production'. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 15(6), pp. 736-752. ISSN 1367-5494 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

MIA (real name: Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam) is one of the few British South Asian music artists who have crossed into the mainstream of western pop. The way in which she has attained this while foregrounding an explicit anti-racist and anti-imperialist message in her songs can be seen as a significant musical-political intervention, although the particular contestation of her work that has followed also highlights the challenges that Asian artists continue to face in gaining recognition within western popular culture. However, what is truly significant about MIA’s career is how she has managed to express a disavowed Asian identity without becoming trapped in the marginal space through which Asian culture is excluded. This has been the outcome of particular industry practice that has harnessed successfully the enabling features of commodification. In this way MIA represents an effective cultural politics of difference, the success of which is absolutely contingent upon an equally effective politics of production.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

10 Nov 2015 11:00

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 15:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



Edit Record Edit Record (login required)