Contesting cultural hybridity: an empirical challenge from two case studies among South Asians in Britain

Malek, Bilkis (2005) Contesting cultural hybridity: an empirical challenge from two case studies among South Asians in Britain. Masters thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This thesis considers how successfully contemporary theories of 'cultural hybridity' can afford a position from which to identify possibilities for 'racially transgressive cultural change' within modem societies. To tackle this question, the thesis assesses the work of four influential cultural theorists (Stuart Hall, Avtar Brah, Paul Gilroy and Ali Rattansi) in the context of everyday, lived cultural realities. Two empirical studies conducted among South Asians in Britain are also presented: one examines trends in consumption of films on videotape; the other investigates negotiations of being Muslim.
Data from the two studies show how negotiations of fragmented cultural experiences may in fact reinforce racial and cultural hierarchies as much as generate 'new', non-racialised cultural outlooks. Interrogating these empirical findings, the thesis proposes a distinction between two models of cross-cultural interaction: one model represents fixed interdependency of axes of difference, which results in 'exclusive' cultural identities; the other illustrates how axes of difference can influence each other's meaning without becoming interdependent, leaving open possibilities for the renegotiation of multiple co-ordinates of identity. In identifying the prospects for progressive cultural change the two studies underscore a need to extend hybridity theorists' preoccupation with 'migrant' cultures. The findings suggest that, until the dynamics and principles of 'cultural hybridity' are contested from the perspective of indigenous Western populations, the work of hybridity theorists will remain unable to provide an adequate framework for promoting racially transgressive cultural change.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy.
Research Areas: B. > Theses
A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 11100
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2013 09:25
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2018 19:11
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/11100

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