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Desi Hoop DreamsPickup Basketball and the Making of Asian American Masculinity$
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Stanley I. Thangaraj

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770351

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770351.001.0001

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Racial Ambiguity

Racial Ambiguity

Hoopin’ in Other Ethnic Leagues

(p.111) 3 Racial Ambiguity
Desi Hoop Dreams

Stanley I. Thangaraj

NYU Press

South Asian American identity is not formed against the dominant white normative masculinity alone. This chapter looks at how the racialization of South Asian Americans as “nerds” also leads to a passing into various racial and ethnic categories. This passing is a gendered phenomenon based on a certain racial ambiguity that poses South Asian American men, like African American men, as innately athletic and dangerous to the nation and sport. South Asian Americans play in the Asian American and Latino basketball leagues while pushing the boundaries of both categories even as they are excluded from the realm of hero-making; African American men are not allowed in as frequently and they face tremendous policing. This chapter highlights the ways in which race, blackness, and masculinity are shaped through South Asian American racial ambiguity.

Keywords:   Asian America, South Asian America, hero-making, Latinos, masculinity, sport

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