How Do Diaspora Media Help Construct Meanings Of Community And Identity?

1831 words - 7 pages

As a result of the western colonizing movement of the 19th century, a massive diasporic movement of people across boundaries formed a unique group. This ongoing process of population movement and mass exodus, as well as the effects it caused drew attention to the academic world at both cultural and political levels. However, unlike the original residents, this diasporic shift demonstrated distinctive traits such as identity and an ideology which evidently differed from those of the natives. As Sreberny (2000. P179) argued: “Diaspora has become a key term in theorizing about immigration, ethnicity and identity” and exerted a considerable influence historically, culturally, socially and economically on developed capitalist societies. Nowadays, academic studies increasingly attach importance to the formation and meanings of diasporic identity because it has been the dynamic motive of how diasporic people conduct themselves in western advanced societies. Of course, because of the multiple factors that worked together to influence the shaping of diasporic identity, in this essay I shall particularly discuss how diasporic media, one of the influential factors, helped construct the meaning of community and identity. Firstly, I will elaborate the ability of how diasporic media constructs the meaning of community and identity. Secondly I will discuss how the meanings of community and identity are shaped through media representation and consumption in everyday life.
The development of human technology has enabled communication to break the restrictions of distance, and even invented new tools of shaping identity through the media. “Mediated communication, as it initially developed through the press and later in radio, television and more recently in the Internet, has become a component of modernity itself ”(Georgiou, 2006.p11). Diaspora media, especially electronic media, with its facility of connection between locations, has successfully managed to improve the quality and speed of communication, as well as to shape its identity in local, national and transnational levels within a modern social context. Direct audio and visual experience allows audiences to get together and exchange opinions over a variety of topics such as languages, fashion, lifestyle, political viewpoints. This daily regular activity of sharing the same media has made people subconsciously advance the sense of belonging in a common unity (Anderson, 1983). From our living experiences, it is not hard to find out that there are so many resources of information to choose from, which means our world has been filled with media, and the diasporic space is no exception. Through all these media, people encode and decode information, accept and reject ideas, and (re)define (new) meanings of culture, community and identity. Electronic media shorten the distance between locations and helped dispersed people to share the culture of the same root, allow comparison, (re)construction of...

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