Electronic Working Paper 21

Media, Home and Diaspora

John Budarick
Department of English, Communications and Performance Studies at Monash University, Melbourne

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of Australian media in feelings of home and belonging amongst the Iranian-Australian diaspora. Drawing on data from in depth interviews, the paper argues that the ‘local’ and broadcast media of the country of settlement can play the dual role of encouraging feelings of belonging and not belonging in the wider Australian society for Iranian-Australians. This duality highlights the media’s role beyond mere representation, and extends to the way media is used by consumers in order to negotiate their social surroundings. The article begins by discussing the meaning and role of ‘home’ in studies of media and diaspora, whereby it is emphasised that home is something made and desired. Then, the way local and broadcast media is used in the essay is defined, and the possibility of media use leading to feelings of both belonging and not belonging is discussed. Finally, feelings of home and belonging amongst Iranian Australians are analysed by drawing on a series of in depth interviews with Iranians on their media use.

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