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Beyond Yellow EnglishToward a Linguistic Anthropology of Asian Pacific America$
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Angela Reyes and Adrienne Lo

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327359.001.0001

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Reel to Real

Reel to Real

Desi Teens' Linguistic Engagements with Bollywood

(p.309) 18 Reel to Real
Beyond Yellow English

Shalini Shankar

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Asian America, Bollywood, Desi, language use, media, Queens, Silicon Valley, South Asian diaspora, youth

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