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Performing 'blackness': the appropriation of commodified African-American culture by South Asian youth in Britain

Ghelani, Tilusha (2002)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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In recent years, African-American popular culture has been marketed for mass global consumption through music, film, television and fashion. Hip-hop culture and rap music has been at the forefront of this commodification process. The proliferation of these mass marketed forms coincided with the growing up of a generation of British Asian youth who lacked presence in the British media. In this thesis the global sell of 'blackness' is examined alongside the structural position and visibility of South Asian youth in Britain. The cultural moment when the appropriation of African-American culture (and particularly hip-hop) by South Asian youth proliferated, is researched through in-depth interviews with participants who were growing up at the time. The ways in which 'black' codes were used, their investment in these and the effect on their identities at a subjective level is also examined. It is argued here that the use of 'black' codes by South Asian youth has led to an increased visibility of Asian youth and the reconfiguration of South Asian culture in Britain.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Bhattacharyya, Gargi
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Social Science
Department:Department of Cultural Studies and Sociology
Subjects:DA Great Britain
HT Communities. Classes. Races
ML Literature of music
PN1990 Broadcasting
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:3605
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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