Fashioning ethnicities: The commercial spaces of multiculture

Philip Crang, Claire Dwyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the entanglement of commerce and culture in the production of ethnicized commodities. Drawing on a case study of fashion label Ghulam Sakina and its designer Liaqat Rasul, we explore how he engages with a notion of `multicultural' as both sociological, aesthetic and commercial. We argue that commodification is not something done to pre-existing ethnicities and ethnic subjects, but is a process through which ethnicities are reproduced and in which ethnic subjects actively engage with broader discourses and institutions. We conclude by arguing that commodity culture does not inevitably result in the production of superficial, thin and bland ethnic differentiations. Nor does it inevitably involve the appropriation of ethnic forms constructed as `authentic'. Rather, our case study suggests that commodity culture can mobilize varied `multicultural imaginaries'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-430
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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