Neither Here Nor There: How to Fit in British Society in Kureishi’s the Buddha of Suburbia and the Black Album?

Özge Demir


“Diaspora” as a word dates back to ancient Greek, although its modern usage stems from its appearance in the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek by Jewish scholars. However, the Greek word diaspora is not related to migration; rather it connotes a religious meaning. In the second half of the 20th century, the meaning of the word diaspora broadened and began to be used for any ethnic, national, or religious community that is dispersed and settled in one or more countries. Yet, the issue of diaspora is not just restricted to the settlement of communities in other countries: diasporas are also about displacement, dislocation, and the maintaining of connections with a real or imagined homeland. This paper will analyse how Hanif Kureishi, as a diasporic writer, represents the struggle of first and second generation Pakistani immigrants to fit into British society during a chaotic time. Our analysis will be on Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia and The Black Album, which focus on the problems of the Indian diaspora through its main characters in 1970s and 80s Britain when racial tensions, prejudices, and class conflicts between the working class and the upper class take place in society. With the analysis of Kureishi’s characters, both first and second generation, we will see how they experience in-betweenness and double-conciousness in the process of constructing a new identity. Moreover, we will present how they clash with both British society and their own diaspora while struggling to belong to two cultures at once.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2015.v4n3s1p689

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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