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Subcultural Acculturation: A Dialectic approach to consumer acculturation of second generation British Pakistani Men

Zahid, A. (2011). Subcultural Acculturation: A Dialectic approach to consumer acculturation of second generation British Pakistani Men. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


The extant literature has been very effective in identifying different types of identity projects, running the gamut from assimilative, integrationist, to rejectionist; where the individual migrants either accept, combine or reject the ‘home’ and ‘host’ national cultures. However, the literature has ignored the heterogeneity within these cultures and the factors that shape these formations. The role in acculturation of subcultures within the host country and the distinctions in the culture of origin are under-theorized. In this dissertation I aim to address this gap in the literature by looking at the various ‘home’ and ‘host’ cultures, and I seek to provide some explanation of the reasons for the choice of assimilative or rejectionist identity projects. To that end, I conducted an 18 month ethnographic case study of second generation Pakistani men in a medium-sized town in England. My work is in the tradition of consumer culture theory, an area of inquiry that is concerned with exploring the intersection of consumption and larger socio-cultural dimensions. As opposed to the “individualistic” consumer identity projects described in the literature, I find that consumer acculturation is subcultural among these youths. I find two distinct subcultures, which I name as ‘popular-boy’ subculture and ‘gangsta boy’ subculture. And these subcultures of acculturation are developed as a synthesis of the two contradictory forces that these youths encounter. These two contradictory forces are the parents’ demands on the youths, which are shaped by the parents’ immigration ideologies and the demands of the mainstream white society that they are living in.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Bayes Business School
Doctoral Theses
Bayes Business School > Bayes Business School Doctoral Theses
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