Popular Culture, Ethnicities and Tastes
The link between patterns of language use and the construction of ethnicities and popular cultural tastes is not necessarily an obvious one. Yet, when given the opportunity in a variety of ways to describe their own patterns of language use, the Blackhill youth themselves made such a link abundantly clear. This worked in a number of ways. First, as demonstrated in earlier chapters, there were patterns involving affiliation to, and the partial absorption of, linguistic forms drawn from sources like African American Vernacular English or Jamaican Creole. Second, particularly in relation to languages like Hindi and Panjabi, issues of expertise interfered with the consumption and production of popular culture. Films and music were especially affected. At the same time, the wider more general references the Blackhill youth made to popular culture, confounded certain familiar essentialist notions. I had anticipated that when discussing music they would make ample and rich references to Bhangra music and Hindi film music, and would claim strong affiliation to these cultural forms. Such expectations amount to the positioning of the tastes of the Blackhill youth as a kind of ‘exotica’, an approach trenchantly critiqued by Hutnyk (2000). According to these discourses, when the youth discussed films the expectation would be that they would have much to say about Hindi language films to which they would, of course.
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