chapter  12
16 Pages

Competing masculinities

South Asian American identity formation in Asian American basketball leagues
WithStanley Thangaraj

The negotiation, management, and embodiment of South Asian American identity takes place through various consumptive practices of popular cultures. This chapter analyses the social interactions, bodily movements, and discourses between South Asian American men and their peers of other Asian American ethnicities to understand the embodiment of South Asian American masculinity. Kdol established ABL with membership open to a spectrum of Asian America. He is a Southeast Asian American refugee whose history stands in counterpoint to the post-1965 communities of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese American professionals. Since basketball is normalized as masculine, South Asian American players ascribe masculine meanings to themselves that serve to invert mainstream racializations of them as queer masculinities. Thus, projecting queerness to black masculinity interjects normativity to performances of South Asian American and Asian American masculinity. Through association and disassociation with multiple racialized masculinities, South Asian Americans resist certain gendered racial logics through the perpetuation of other racial hierarchies.