Being a Freshie is (not) Cool: stigma, capital and disgust in British Pakistani stereotypes of new subcontinental migrants

Katharine A H Charsley, Marta Bolognani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
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Intra-ethnic discrimination, in the form of stereotyping of recent migrants by settled ethnic minorities, has been interpreted as internalised racism, displacing stigma, and the negotiation of local hierarchies of belonging. Stereotypes of ‘fresh off the boat’ migrants construct cultural boundaries and assertions of belonging, offering clues to processes of identity-making where ethnicity is complicated by ongoing migration. Portrayals of ‘freshies’ among British Pakistanis are particularly interesting, as this assertion of difference coexists with close intercontinental familial ties and a high incidence of transnational marriage. Analysis of the figure of the ‘freshie’ in internet comedy videos, combined with material from recent qualitative research, allows a remarkable insight into dynamics of cultural and social capital, immigration and sexuality through manifestations of difference, similarity and disgust. Together these not only reveal the weakness of recent migrants’ positions in structures of socio-economic and symbolic power, but the blurring of social categories, and the continuing importance of transnational kinship in negotiations of identity among British Pakistanis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-62
Number of pages20
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number1
Early online date3 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

Structured keywords

  • Migration Mobilities Bristol
  • migration
  • mobility
  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship


  • British Pakistani
  • identity
  • boundary-making
  • intra-ethnic discrimination
  • migration
  • transnational marriage


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