The article aims to shed some light on the role of language during a crucial step of life when it comes to identity, that is to say youth – the age of uncertainty par excellence, in which every convention, every belief is put into question and re-elaborated. The analysis focuses on the teenagers of the British Indian diasporic community, for whom the research of an identity also includes the definition of belonging. The issue is tackled by reading Gautam Malkani’s debut novel, Londonstani (2006). The amazing ability of Malkani is to disclose how the issue of identity is played into language – each unanswered question, each attempt to find a definition (both failed and successful), to establish or break bonds of belonging, to disobey institutions and to adapt to the rules of a subgroup. That is the reason why the present work focuses on language, trying to reveal how it can simultaneously reflect and determine belonging in itself, thus becoming more than just a tool to communicate: the means becomes the message, transcending its content.

Language and identity of the British Indian teenage diaspora: Gautam Malkani’s Londonstani, a case study.

RENNA, DORA
2015

Abstract

The article aims to shed some light on the role of language during a crucial step of life when it comes to identity, that is to say youth – the age of uncertainty par excellence, in which every convention, every belief is put into question and re-elaborated. The analysis focuses on the teenagers of the British Indian diasporic community, for whom the research of an identity also includes the definition of belonging. The issue is tackled by reading Gautam Malkani’s debut novel, Londonstani (2006). The amazing ability of Malkani is to disclose how the issue of identity is played into language – each unanswered question, each attempt to find a definition (both failed and successful), to establish or break bonds of belonging, to disobey institutions and to adapt to the rules of a subgroup. That is the reason why the present work focuses on language, trying to reveal how it can simultaneously reflect and determine belonging in itself, thus becoming more than just a tool to communicate: the means becomes the message, transcending its content.
language,identity,diaspora,migration,British Indian,diaspora,literature,postcolonial,cutural studies,African American English,second generation,teenage,colonization,London,England,code mixing,code switching,Punjabi,community,belonging,Gautam Malkani,Londonstani,India,Desi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/937088
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