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Transnational Communities Programme

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Commodity Culture and South Asian Transnationality


Principal Investigators
Dr Philip Crang
Department of Geography
University College London
26 Bedford Way
London WC1H OAP
Professor Peter Jackson
Department of Geography
University of Sheffield
Sheffield S10 2TN
Dr Claire Dwyer
Department of Geography
University College London
26 Bedford Way
London WC1H OAP
Dr Philip Crang
Tel:  0171 504 5540
Duration of Research
January 1999 to February 2002


Short Summary

Focusing on the food and fashion sectors of the South Asian transnational community, and in particular the food, this project has three main aims. Firstly, to examine the kinds of South Asian transnational identities that are associated with these products (including the ‘identities’ of products , corporate identities and personal identities). Secondly, the project will analyse the processes through which the identities of products, firms and personnel are established and negotiated. Particular attention will be paid to company and family biographies, supply networks and marketing strategies. Thirdly, the project will examine how varying groups of consumers, in both the UK and India, interpret and use these ‘transnational’ products. For example, this might involve comparing the consumption of Patak’s cooking pastes and sauces by ‘second generation’ South Asians in London, young professionals in Bombay and young white consumers in London. The research is designed to advance academic knowledge in these areas and will also provide those involved in the production or promotion of South Asian businesses and product with information on the character of identities being constructed and their reception by different groups of consumers.


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