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

Ghelani, Tilusha (2002). Performing 'blackness': the appropriation of commodified African-American culture by South Asian youth in Britain. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


Download (6MB)


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: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Social Science
School or Department: Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year