Diasporic Media

‘Diaspora’ refers to a dispersal or scattering of people for many different reasons, either voluntarily or forced. Therefore, the term ‘diasporic media’ has been derived to define any media that is produced, represented or relevant to these types of groups (WiseGeek, 2014). Communication and media can link members of diasporic communities together all over the world, where global migration trends have produced transnational groups related by culture, ethnicity, language and religion.

“The identities of individuals and groups within specific ‘diasporas’ are formed by complex historical, social, and cultural dynamics within the group and in its relationships with other groups” (Karim, 1998, p. 3).

This is apparent in groups who usually operate within small media outlets (weekly local newspapers, magazines etc.) that meet the needs and wants of their communities, to now having this emergence of digital and new technologies that enable them to expand these communication activities onto a global scale (Karim, 1998).

‘Bend It Like Beckham’ was a comedy-drama film released back in 2002, which displays a perfect example of how transnational communities are shown in a positive light, however also shows the dilemmas of placing a Sikh Indian family in the middle of Hounslow West London. The main character, Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra, is a young Indian girl who loves to play soccer. Her parents forbid her to play because she is ‘a girl’, and in their culture, to be a good woman she needs to marry a fine, upstanding Indian man, and know how to cook and clean (Clarke, n.d)

Jess and her friend Jules, who became good friends through their love for soccer

The film was very popular in the way it portrayed diverse communities (Indian and British) and stereotypical characters (Jess’s traditional Indian mother) in a more humourous, light-hearted way. The film integrated two diasporic communities, which allowed us as viewers to enjoy and appreciate this ‘hybridity’ of cultural production (Karim, 1998, p.15)

Jess's stereotypical Indian mother

Jess’s stereotypical Indian mother

References

Clarke, N n.d ‘Bend It Like Beckham’, Intervarsity: Multiethnic Ministries, viewed 24th May 2014, <http://mem.intervarsity.org/mem/resources/bend-it-beckham>

Karim, K 1998, From Ethnic Media to Global Media: Transnational Communication Networks Among Diasporic Communities’, International Comparative Research Group Canada, viewed 24th May 2014, <http://www.transcomm.ox.ac.uk/working%20papers/karim.pdf>

WiseGeek, 2014, ‘What is a Diapora?’, WiseGEEK, viewed 24th May 2014, <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-diaspora.htm>

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