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Title: The representation and consumption of 'Asian culture'
Author: Mehta-Chopra, Nishi
ISNI:       0000 0001 3392 0477
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis focuses on the representation and consumption of 'Asian culture' within a context of Western popular culture and specifically, 'British mainstream' and 'British Asian' magazine visual discourses. Through a critical engagement with Edward Said's Orientalism (1978) which charted Western inferiorizing cultural representations of the East as located in historical and material contexts, I aim to explore issues of 'race' and Otherness amidst a background of historical and commodification processes. This has been attempted using multiple methodologies that in addition to engaging with secondary material, has involved a reflexive use of semiotics and discourse analysis to analyse magazine images and written text respectively. Further, I have attempted to go beyond the textual focus of both Orientalism (1978) and many media studies by also gathering contextual reader responses to magazine representations. These have taken the form of the subjective interpretations of 20 British youths (men and women of Asian and white English origin) that have been analysed in conjunction with biographical narratives that I also conducted with each of them. Through the use of this rich and varied empirical data coupled with a thorough review of secondary source material, I aim to add to and question work that has been conducted in the area of 'race' and culture that appears to have moved from a concentration on the 'essential black subject' to an emphasis on ethnic unities within an uncritical celebration of 'diaspora' and 'hybridity'. I also aim to make problematic work that has been conducted in the area of orientalism through drawing attention to the limitations associated with the concept of 'self-orientalism' and practices of 'self-representation' by minorities. Overall, through conducting work on Asian representations within the popular magazine media coupled with its interrelation with varied audiences, I hope to make some inroads into these under-researched areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available