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Reading Together, Reading ApartIdentity, Belonging, and South Asian American Community$
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Tamara Bhalla

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040481

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040481.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Beyond Ambivalence?

Beyond Ambivalence?

(p.127) Afterword Beyond Ambivalence?
Reading Together, Reading Apart

Tamara Bhalla

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter explains how through practices of reading and other everyday cultural activities, South Asian Americans advance their own claims to authentic ethnic identity. They use these practices as a form of gatekeeping, as a means of regulating the parameters of South Asian American identity, and also as a way of expanding community and constructing new forms of it. As several scholars have maintained, ambivalence has been the primary affective response to this complex process of identity and community formation. The chapter also illustrates a scholarly conversation that is already charting how South Asians in the United States use everyday cultural practices—such as eating ethnic cuisine, viewing films, watching television, attending art exhibits, and consuming fashion—to think beyond ambivalence about representational forms.

Keywords:   South Asian Americans, authenticity, ethnic identity, ambivalence, community formation, cultural practices

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