Desis in the House: Indian American Youth Culture in New York City / Edition 1

Desis in the House: Indian American Youth Culture in New York City / Edition 1

by Sunaina Marr Maira
     
 

ISBN-10: 1566399270

ISBN-13: 9781566399272

Pub. Date: 02/28/2002

Publisher: Temple University Press

She sports a nose-ring and duppat (a scarf worn by South Asian women) along with the latest fashion in slinky club wear; he's decked out in Tommy gear. Their moves on the crowded dance floor, blending Indian film dance with break-dancing, attract no particular attention. They are just two of the hundreds of hip young people who flock to the desi (i.e., South Asian)…  See more details below

Overview

She sports a nose-ring and duppat (a scarf worn by South Asian women) along with the latest fashion in slinky club wear; he's decked out in Tommy gear. Their moves on the crowded dance floor, blending Indian film dance with break-dancing, attract no particular attention. They are just two of the hundreds of hip young people who flock to the desi (i.e., South Asian) party scene that flourishes in the Big Apple.

New York City, long the destination for immigrants and migrants, today is home to the largest Indian American population in the United States. Coming of age in a city remarkable for its diversity and cultural innovation, Indian American and other South Asian youth draw on their ethnic traditions and the city's resources to create a vibrant subculture. Some of the city's hottest clubs host regular banghra parties, weekly events where young South Asians congregate to dance to music that mixes rap beats with Hindi film music, bhangra (North Indian and Pakistani in origin), reggae, techno, and other popular styles. Many of these young people also are active in community and campus organizations that stage performances of "ethnic cultures."

In this book Sunaina Maira explores the world of second-generation Indian American youth to learn how they manage the contradictions of gender roles and sexuality, how they handle their "model minority" status and expectations for class mobility in a society that still racializes everyone in terms of black or white. Maira's deft analysis illuminates the ways in which these young people bridge ethnic authenticity and American "cool."

Author Biography: Sunaina Marr Maira is Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies in the English and Anthropology Departments at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; she is the co-editor of Contours of the Heart: South Asians Map North America, recipient of the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award in 1997. Her short fiction has appeared in literary journals and anthologies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566399272
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Series:
Asian American History and Culture Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,442,041
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Introduction1
2To Be Young, Brown, and Hip: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Indian American Youth Culture29
3Nostalgia: Ideology and Performance83
4Chaste Identities: The Eroticization of Nostalgia149
5Conclusion: Critical Nostalgia and Commodified Cool189
App.: Notes on Research Methods205
Notes211
References217
Index239

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