WP54 Doing Nakl : A Mimicry of Resistance by British-born South Asian Adolescents in East London

Collection: Key words ,


After showing that “ethnic absolutism” no longer holds sway, I report on the imitation, or nakl – a term that this paper introduces – of some South Asian people by five British South Asian college students. My informants do nakl in London English, Stylised Asian English (Rampton, 1995) and in their own inherited languages. By doing nakl they seem to represent SA people as Other.? But I claim that by doing nakl they are enacting a kind of mimicry that can actually be read as a form of resistance to the post-colonial ideologies that try to maintain a concrete division between Self and Other. I argue that my informants, through the use of exaggerated nakl performances, unsettle the notion of the Other and produce an anxiety among those that try to maintain the unequal balance between nations.