Another approach, therefore, working with a revived concept of ethnicity, has been to look at the more dynamic, proactive, forms of cultural expression and diversity. Cross-cultural fertilisation provides an important source of ethnic identity rather than simply hanging on to and reproducing old ethnic divisions. The analysis of ‘routes’ rather than roots becomes
a more effective way of understanding new ethnic configurations. Such work, invoking concepts of diaspora and hybridity, has begun to dislodge hermetically sealed versions of ethnic origin and difference, and to recognise the reciprocal and symbiotic relationships between cultures (Hall 1991; Gilroy 1993a, 1993b; Brah 1996). The idea of ‘hybridity’ has acquired particular resonance for those of mixed ethnic background illustrated by the golfer Tiger Woods, who, rather than be thought of as the first black to win the US Masters golf tournament, preferred to describe himself as a ‘Cablinaisian’. This was a term of his own invention to describe his Caucasian, Black, Indian and Asian background (Guardian 24 April 1997). This idea of hybridity, however, simply acknowledges the complexity of background rather than thinking about the formation of identity through ongoing interand trans-cultural influences and the significance of symbolic and fluid, rather than fixed, boundaries. Avtar Brah’s use of the idea of ‘diasporic space’ is an attempt to capture the contingency and complexity of such identities which also have a gender and class dimension to them (Brah 1996: 208ff.).