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Capitalist houses, queer homes: National belonging and transgressive erotics in My Beautiful Laundrette

Gairola, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-1826-6339 (2009) Capitalist houses, queer homes: National belonging and transgressive erotics in My Beautiful Laundrette. South Asian Popular Culture, 7 (1). pp. 37-54.

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South Asian diasporic subjects have dealt with experiences of ‘home’ in various ways: ranging from the ostensibly failed assimilations of racialized subjects in their new homes to the nostalgia and trauma of exile felt in relation to former homelands. Most conceptualizations of home, in their privileging of racial formations that underpin Western racism, have elided questions of (homo)sexuality. This reading of My Beautiful Laundrette evinces the ways in which queer South Asian Diasporas resist the interpellative praises of the British nation-state during the years of Margaret Thatcher. I argue that the film depicts, on the one hand, hegemonic homes that expound classist and heteronormative ideals supported by neoliberal capitalism. On the other hand, the characters Omar and Tania act as queer agents whose non-heteronormative sexual practices trouble such exclusive homes, and thus create new ‘home’ spaces for belonging. This paper contributes to queer post-colonial studies, ‘third’ world feminism, and diasporic cultural studies by examining, for a historical perspective, how Kureishi’s queer characters resist the interpellative demands of the nation-state, capitalism, and the materialist family.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Routledge as part of Taylor & Francis
Copyright: 2009 Taylor & Francis
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