What does it mean to belong? How are twenty-first-century diasporic subjects fashioning identities and communities that bind them together?Aspiring to Homeexamines these questions with a focus on immigrants from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Advancing a theory of locality to explain the means through which immigrants of varying regional, religious, and linguistic backgrounds experience what it means to belong, Bakirathi Mani shows how ethnicity is produced through the relationship between domestic racial formations and global movements of class and capital.
Aspiring to Homefocuses on popular cultural works created by first- and second-generation South Asians from 1999–2009, including those by author Jhumpa Lahiri and filmmaker Mira Nair, as well as public events such as the Miss India U.S.A. pageant and the Broadway musicalBombay Dreams. Analyzing these diverse productions through an interdisciplinary framework, Mani weaves literary readings with ethnography to unravel the constraints of form and genre that shape how we read diasporic popular culture.
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