‘If I ever play football, Dad, can I play for England or India?’ British Asians, sport and diasporic national identities
Burdsey, Daniel (2006) ‘If I ever play football, Dad, can I play for England or India?’ British Asians, sport and diasporic national identities Sociology, 40 (1). pp. 11-28. ISSN 1469-8684
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Official URL: htp://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038506058435
The overall scope of this article is to examine how young British Asians experience and articulate recent transformations in popular notions of ‘race’, nation and culture. The context for the analysis is sport, which acts as a prominent arena in which these variables are contested and, indeed, embodies the complexities of national affiliations and identities.The article argues that despite continuing ethnically exclusive manifestations of ‘Englishness’ – both in football and in the wider society – increasing numbers of young British Asians are expressing their support for the England football team.This is in direct contrast to cricket, where large numbers choose to follow a team from the Indian subcontinent.The article argues that these trends reflect the multifaceted, fragmented nature of diasporic identities, in that the diverse sporting affiliations of young British Asians enable them to emphasize both their cultural traditions and the permanency of South Asian settlement in Britain.
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