Brown Girls, White Worlds: Adolescence and the Making of Racialized Selves

Authors


  • *The author would like to thank the CRSA reviewers for their very helpful comments on earlier versions of the paper, Simone Taylor for translating the abstract, and Tarun Gandhi for his assistance during the final editing process. This research was made possible by a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This manuscript was first submitted in September 2004 and accepted in January 2006. Contact: mythili.rajiva@smu.ca.

Abstract

Jusquà récemment, les recherches sur les femmes venant de l'Asie du Sud portaient presque entièrement sur les immigrantes de première génération; cependant, les chercheurs commencent à explorer les différences qui existent entre les immigrantes de premiére et celles de deuxiéme génération. Ce qui reste peu clair, c'est comment l'âge, en tant que relation de puissance, se manifeste dans le contexte d'une diaspora. Par exemple, quel est l'apport de l'expérience occidentale de l'adolescence dans le processus identitaire ? l'auteure s'appuie sur le concept de Twine appeléévénement frontalier, qui s'adresse spéci-fiquement à l'expérience de racialisation de l'adolescente. Elle se penche également sur la culture des pairs et enfin sur les families et les com-munautés particulières pour évaluer comment celles-ci réussissent à convaincre les jeunes filles de deuxième génération de leur exclusion permanente de la normalité.

Until recently, research on South Asian women has focussed almost exclusively on the immigrant experience; however, scholars have now begun to explore the differences between immigrant and second-generation identities. What remains unclear is how age, as a relation of power, asserts itself in diasporic contexts. For instance, how is modern Western adolescence a key period of racialized identity development? Building on Twine's concept of the “boundary event,” I analyse second-generation South Asian girls' stories of difference making during adolescence, examining the work done by peer culture, friends and even family/community to remind girls of their racial and cultural difference.

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