Publication Date

Spring 2016

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the psychological development of South Asian masculinity in a diaspora that is depicted in Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia and V.S. Naipaul’s The Mimic Men. Together, Kureishi and Naipaul construct a complete understanding of masculinity through childhood, adolescent, young adult, and adulthood. Chapter 1 explores the need to displace their father’s masculinity and seek better masculine models that align with the social norms of the diaspora. Chapter 2 establishes the motivation behind seeking peers to define the meaning of masculinity in a diaspora and the disadvantage of this pathway. Chapter 3 demonstrates two possible outcomes for South Asian men attempting to construct a secure masculinity. The difficulties these characters encounter when developing their identity is both a product of their diasporic environment and the lingering effect of colonization through the presence of hegemonic masculinity. They attempt to rectify the inadequacies in their masculinity by refuting a portion of their identity tied to being South Asian in order to better assimilate to the ideals of their diaspora. Ultimately, there are two possible consequences for South Asian men in a diaspora: one is to attempt to negotiate their position as a mixture of both the ideals of the diaspora and South Asian culture and the second is to continue to live a fragmented life of denying aspects of their identity tied to either the diaspora or South Asian culture.


Asian American Studies | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Modern Literature