Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
Shalini Shankar begins her book by locating her own positionality of growing up in a predominantly white, middle-class high school in suburban New York versus the study's main focus of South Asian youth in Silicon Valley's mostly ethnic neighborhoods. Shankar was encouraged by her Indian, immigrant family to socialize with other South Asians, similar to the youth she studies; however, she clearly notes the stark differences in the researcher and subject divisions. Shankar employs an unusual anthropological approach to study Desi youth in the Silicon Valley by historically contexualizing the economic success of the South Asian community while presenting the sometimes destructive behavior of the youth. These behaviors include drug use, gossip, interyouth and inter-generational tensions. This study was completed during the 1999-2001, at the height of the "dot.com" boom. Shankar seems to develop a genuine bond with the youth and organizes the data and research in a methodological, organized, and analytical way. The scholarly contribution she makes to South Asian American Studies and Women's Studies is concrete and evidenced by various points that follow. She also provides a significant insight into inter-generation bonding, although her discussion of slang language within the Desi youth culture remains somewhat reductive.
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