Ethnic Minorities and the Media: Changing Cultural Boundaries

By Simon Cottle | Go to book overview

1
Introduction
MEDIA RESEARCH AND ETHNIC
MINORITIES: MAPPING THE FIELD

Simon Cottle


Mapping the field

Today in countries such as those in Europe and North America, the relationship between the media and ethnic minorities is typically characterized by continuity, conflict and change. This book aims to explore the complexity of this interaction by bringing together a range of the latest findings produced by some of the leading international researchers in this field – a field, as we shall hear, which is also essentially contested.

In academic discourse, as in wider society, contending definitions of ‘race’, ‘racism’ and ‘ethnicity’ – to name but a few of the key terms with which we must grapple – currently struggle for theoretical and political recognition. These terms and their corresponding theoretical frameworks, sometimes called the problematics of ‘race’,1 variously provide us with the means of thinking about and/or thinking through some of the most fundamental categories, distinctions and discriminatory processes that humanity has yet produced for itself and within which, or in relation to which, many of us conduct our lives and construct a sense of who we are, where we belong and where we want to be. Specifically, three general ‘problematics’ currently contend and debate the field of ‘race’ and ethnicity in terms of ‘race rela- tions’, ‘racism/racialization’ and, most recently, ‘new ethnicities’. We shall encounter each in the discussion that follows. Approached through these frameworks ideas of ‘race’ and ethnicity can be evaluated positively or negatively, seen as imposed from outside or mobilized from within, and accounted for with reference to deep-seated social inequalities or the pursuit

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