Masculinity Session 3: Constructing and Reclaiming Masculinity

Read before class:

Thangaraj, S. I. (2015). Desi hoop dreams: Pickup basketball and the making of Asian American masculinity. New York, NY: New York University Press.


Discuss each of the themes and ideas from Desi Hoop Dreams listed above. Using a graphic organizer such as the one below, develop each idea and draw connections between them. Be sure to discuss concrete practices that the South Asian American basketball players used to construct their masculine identity.

  • Stages of identity formation (ex. Basketball court as a stage, strip club as a stage)
  • Black masculinity (appropriation of hip hop culture, anti-black language, exclusion of blackness on court)
  • Desi identity (Which desis are included and which desis are not? Religious identity, ethnic/regional identity)
  • East Asian American masculinity (How do the basketball players use slurs and stereotypes against East Asian men in their making of their own masculinity?)
  • Class (philanthropy, breadwinner status, education levels)
  • Model Minority Myth (education and labor market)
  • LGBTQ South Asian Americans (impact of and marginalization by construction of South Asian American masculinity)
  • South Asian American Women (impact of and marginalization by construction of South Asian American masculinity)
  • Foreignness & Assimilation

concept map

Consider the following discussion questions among your peers or answer in writing:

  • What impact do such practices have on Asian American women and Asian Americans who identify as LGBTQ+?
  • In what ways is the construction of Asian American masculinity also tied to anti-blackness, homophobia, and misogyny?

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.