Media and Ethnic Minorities

Media and Ethnic Minorities

Media and Ethnic Minorities

Media and Ethnic Minorities

Synopsis

This book addresses cross-cultural representations of ethnic minority peoples by dominant society 'outsiders' and indigenous self-representation in the context of the 'New Media Nation'. In doing so, it explores the role of language, culture, identity and media in liberation struggles and the emergence of new political entities, and opens up issues of colonial oppression to public debate. It is intended to help inform policy in a variety of settings. Grounded in current perspectives on diaspora and homeland and drawing on Alia's work on minorities, media and identity as well as Bull's work on Maori socio-cultural issues and criminalisation of minorities, this volume offers a comparative, international perspective on the experiences of a broad range of ethnic minority peoples. These include Inuit and First Nations people in Canada; Native Americans and African Americans in the United States; Sámi in northern Europe; Maori in New Zealand; Aboriginal people in Australia and Roma in Ireland and Britain. Features
• Teaching and learning exercises accompany each chapter
• Includes recommendations for further reading, listening and viewing
• Contains a comprehensive list of ethnic minority media in the UK.

Excerpt

Consistent with the colonial roots of much contemporary scholarship, publications concerning media representation of ethnic minority peoples have tended to be limited in scope and written from 'outsiders' perspectives. To provide a range of counter-colonial perspectives, this text presents a mix of voices – of 'insiders' and 'outsiders', scholars and media practitioners. One of our main objectives is to deconstruct the myth of passive minority consumption and (non-)participation in the processes of production, considering media from the 'mainstream' and an array of alternative and ethnic minority locations and sources.

While we seek to understand the relationships between media and ethnic minorities in a broad international and intercultural context, this volume features the authors' comparative research on experiencesof Inuit and First Nations in Canada and of Maori in Aotearoa (New Zealand). These are cultural communities with whom the authors have worked closely and/or personally identify, but their experiences reflect those of a wide range of minority communities around the globe. The analysis is broadened by consideration of Native Americans and African Americans in the United States; Sa´mi in northern Europe; Aboriginal peoples in Australia; and Roma communities of Europe, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

We concede atthe outset that media are not necessarily the 'controlling will' in the nations and communities they service. The act of offering a portrayal does not guarantee that an audience will wholeheartedly accept it, much less react in some predictable fashion or take from it what the producers intended (Spoonley 1993). Consumers are actively involved in investing media representation with meaning, and tend to access information from a variety of sources. Nonetheless the media serve not only the public but various political agendas and play an important, though not exclusive role in shaping public opinion. Mass media present particular dangers to the well-being of ethnic minorities, but also, opportunities for empowerment. It is our intention to examine both these aspects of the media–consumer relationship, focusing on the media participation, representation and consumption of ethnic minorities. We hope that we . . .

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