Cultural-Crossover: The Transition Through Diasporic Media

Media, whether it be in the form of newspapers, cinema, internet or the multitude of platforms between, is increasingly becoming a space for the deployment of individualities and communication of interests for groups of minority. Following on from last week’s blog on International Education and its significance, this post will look at the way ‘diasporic media’ is increasingly becoming a base for the establishment of belonging and acceptance for groups of minority.

Diasporic media can be broadly defined as media forms which interweave multiple cultural elements to create a production which is relevant and appealing to people from numerous ethnic and cultural backgrounds. According to Khorana (2016), “marginalisation and stereotyping of racialised communities makes diasporic media vital”. In a similar notion to last week’s discussion of cultural transition, diaspora enables us to “study some of the ways in which media users connect to different public spheres and communities, while sustaining particularistic, diverse and multiple trajectories within and across boundaries (Georgiou 2014, p.84). In turn, diasporic media has the ability to help lighten the transition of migrant communities into their new community and environment, in a way which reduces intimidation (Khorana 2016).

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Diasporic media can increase the confidence of minority groups, and hence increase their active participation in media production (Source: cultureXchange)

A case study of diasporic media many of us can relate to is the 2002 British hit “Bend it Like Beckham”. While many of us were either swooning over Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ heart-throb character ‘Joe’, or aspiring to be Parminder Nagra as Jesminder Kaur “Jess” Bhamra, a much deeper cultural edification was taking place… getting to the heart of what diasporic media is all about. Jess’ struggle with the complexities of a culturally hybrid life forms a storyline that viewers from multiple ethnic backgrounds can associate with. Through the entertainment platform of cinema, the film epitomizes ‘the hybrid nature of contemporary British national identity, delighting in the incongruences and complexities of multiculturalism’ (Geraghty 2008). ‘CULTURAL ZEITGEIST’, in their blog here gives a wonderful insight into and elaboration of this concept, helping to conceptualize this model in greater detail.

“Bend It Like Beckham” weaves Indian tradition into an engaging storyline, providing enjoyment and comprehension for audiences of multiple ethnicities

References

Geraghty, C 2008, Now a Major Motion Picture: Film Adaptations of Literature and Drama, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, United States of America

Georgiou, M 2013, “Diaspora in the Digital Era: Minorities and Media Representation”, Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe, Vol 12, No 4, p. 84

Khorana S, 2016, “The Crossover: Diasporic and Inter-cultural Film and Media” PowerPoint slides, BCM111, University of Wollongong, delivered 23rd August 2016

‘Jsculturalzeitgeist’ 2012, ISSUE ONE: DIASPORIC FILM PRODUCTION IN GREAT BRITAIN: BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM (CHADHA, 2002), blog post, 12th December 2012, accessed 6th September 2016

Featured Image:  “Bend It Like Beckham” by Danumurthi Mahendra, licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Published by susiealdermann

Fifth Year Bachelor of Communications and Media/ Bachelor of International Studies (Dean's Scholar) student

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