Reel to Real
Reel to Real
Desi Teens' Linguistic Engagements with Bollywood
This chapter identifies “Bollywood” films—feature‐length movies produced in Bombay (Mumbai), India—as a source of linguistic and cultural production in the South Asian diaspora. South Asian Americans (Desis), especially youth, engage with these Hindi language films with English subtitles on a number of levels. The chapter focuses on the circulation and consumption of Bollywood films in two locations in the South Asian diaspora: Silicon Valley, CA and Queens, NY. Ethnographic and sociolinguistic data of conversational exchanges, commentary during viewing, and personal narratives are presented to illustrate Bollywood's role in shaping linguistic processes of indexicality, bivalency, and identity. In these ways, the chapter analyzes how media and language use together shape style and identity in this Asian American community, as well as how this process varies between different locations of the South Asian diaspora.
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