South Asian Youth in Diaspora Anti-racist Discourses & Entangled Epistemes

Riham Amin [1] Celine-Marie Pascale[2] 

[1] Riham Amin holds a BA Sociology from American University and looks forward to pursuing doctoral work in Sociology. She is the corresponding author and can be reached at

[2]  Dr. Celine-Marie Pascale is an expert in the field of language & society and professor of Sociology at American University. Her most recent book is  Living on the Edge: When Hard Times Become A Way of Life, (published at Polity in 2021).


The South Asian postcolonial diaspora has produced multiple new encounters with racism for South Asian immigrants. Colonial forces that repressed non-western traditional thought and knowledge persist today through the coloniality of power. Erasures of South Asian cultures are advanced through imperial legacies of racism, colorism, sexism, and islamophobia. South Asian youth raised in diaspora must negotiate a liminal state poised between their parents’ often romanticized and conservative traditions that were forged in relation to coloniality and the marginality of their own experiences and identities produced through North Atlantic discourses of whiteness and modernity.


This article is based on textual analysis of feminist and antiracist discourses in Brown Girl Magazine, a multimedia platform founded by and for South Asian womxn. We use the theoretical frameworks of coloniality and decolonialism to situate everyday practices within broader cultural practices—both contemporary and historical. Our analysis concerns how feminist, anti-racist discourses in Brown Girl Magazine characterize and challenge inequalities affecting South Asians. Our analysis demonstrates some of the discursive strategies deployed in Brown Girl Magazine to construct counter-hegemonic discourses and practices—in particular those used to cultivate a sense of cultural community for South Asian youth.

Keywords: Textual Analysis; Discourse Analysis; Coloniality; Decoloniality; Feminism; Racism; Anti-racism; Epistemic Disobedience; Ontological Insecurity


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