New Ethnicities and Language Use: Cultures of Hybridity in a Group of Adolescents of Mainly South Asian Descent in a London School in the Late 1990s

Harris, Roxy W.. 2004. New Ethnicities and Language Use: Cultures of Hybridity in a Group of Adolescents of Mainly South Asian Descent in a London School in the Late 1990s. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis draws on anti-essentialist theorisations of ethnicity developed out of the British Cultural Studies tradition by authors such as Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy and others. Of particular interest are the notions of `new ethnicities', `cultures of hybridity' and `diaspora'. These concepts are used as the basis for an empirical study attempting to show how they might be realised at the level of ordinary everyday life. The research informants are a group of 30 male and female adolescents (The Blackhill youth) of mainly South Asian descent in a secondary school in the western suburbs of London. The thesis, using a variety of methods including a survey questionnaire, written accounts, informant-made audio recordings and individual conversational interviews, elicits their representations of their patterns of language use. These facilitate discussion and analysis of a complex tapestry of ethnicities which embrace not only language use, but also religion and popular culture. This investigation also demonstrates that if the study of ethnicity shifts its focus from a dependence on the visual (what people look like), to the aural (what they sound like), there is a basis for new understandings of how `new ethnicities' might develop. The thesis suggests that rather than looking for a binary distinction between old and new ethnicities it might be more productive to look for a synthesis of residual, dominant and emergent elements in culture. This leads to a conclusion that the most important element in the `cultures of hybridity' of the Blackhill youth is their Britishness which is integrated in intricate ways with both traditional and contemporary modes of being South Asian. Thereby, the emergence of distinctive Brasian identities is signalled.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00028941

Keywords:

ethnicity, cultural studies, new ethnicities, cultures of hybridity, diaspora, Britishness, identity, Brasian identities

Date:

2004

Item ID:

28941

Date Deposited:

02 Jul 2020 13:31

Last Modified:

02 Jul 2020 13:32

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/28941

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