Lesson 2: Desi Identity

This lesson plan aims to:

  1. Discuss important identity markers within the South Asian population.
  2. Apply Arjun Appadurai’s theory of scapes to identity.

Reading prior to class: Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy by Arjun Appadarai

Discuss identity markers such as religon, ethnicity, language, and country and their importance in the identity of South Asian Americans. This discussion should aim to disaggregate information on the SOuth Asian American community.

Explain Appadurai’s scapes theory:

  • Ethnoscapes is the movement of people with the advent of readily available and more affordable transportation .
  • Mediascape is the movement of media around the world and how it allows distant cultures to view each other. Often, it creates an image of a distant culture that is skewed or narrow sighted.
  • Technoscapes is the flow of technology, mechanical goods, software goods, etc. in a boundaryless environment thanks to international corporations.
  • Financescapes is the movement of money. Now with its much larger scale of the World, money is even harder to follow than ever.
  • Ideoscapes is the movement of political ideas from one area to another.

Apply this to the identity markers within the South Asian population.

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