Making, Negotiating, and Maintaining Identity: Gendered Racialization of Immigrant Bangladeshi Women Open Access

Shehab, Nowmee Syeda (2016)

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I'm exploring what conceptions of interiority and exteriority, of Self and Other play into claiming or not claiming a "South Asian American woman" identity and the state's role in inscribing identity politics. The U.S. government has deployed identity politics such as forced racial categorization, creating protected classes within the law, etc. to retain coherence and control within the incredibly diverse population of the country. However, the state does not have a totalizing effect on populations; I'm interested in the resistance, fractures and, complicity that arise in post-colonial, diasporic communities when they face identity politics, and gendered racism. Race is an ideology; the American racial ideology is challenged by the diasporic double consciousness that immigrant South Asian Muslims hold. The private sphere has been vital in the production of diasporic identities, politics and consciousness. It harbors a certain type of resistance that is unintelligible to the state and to other outside structures. Cultural, religious, and linguistic practices that is unintelligible to the state that happen in the private sphere is an everyday act of resistance against the racial ideology that has been placed on Muslims. The consciousness of the diaspora challenges rigid ideas of race, gender, and nationality. It works is subversive ways to create alternate spaces and mind sets that work to resist hegemonic narratives of what it means to an immigrant, South Asian, and Muslim. The diaspora can also be complicit in racial hierarchies of the state - it can reinscribe and proliferate racist ideals that further marginalize minority populations.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 1

2. Racialization of South Asian Women 15

3. Making of the Self in a Globalized World 28

4. Conclusion 40

5. Bibliography 43

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