Contested communicative spaces: identities, boundaries and the role of the media

Madianou, Mirca. 2005. Contested communicative spaces: identities, boundaries and the role of the media. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 31(3), pp. 521-541. ISSN 1369-183X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The case of the Turkish minority in Greece, a ‘beached’ diaspora and vestige of the Ottoman past, is a peculiar case where the tensions of transnationalism and nationalism intersect and where boundaries are continuously created and negotiated. In order to understand communication in this politicised environment, this article, which is based on interviews with, and participant observation among, Turkish speakers living in Athens, draws on Barth's theory on ethnic groups and boundaries. The paper argues that the media, both national and transnational, often create boundaries for inclusion and exclusion, and eventually participation in a ‘common culture’. The first part of the paper highlights two themes: the first is that gender and generational differences contest the idea of a homogenous Turkish minority and suggest the importance of social change; the second is that media consumption in Turkish households is ordinary, shaped by social rather than ethnic parameters. In the second part of the paper, however, the banal consumption of media is disrupted by instances when tension prevails. Three such cases are discussed as examples of the media raising the boundaries for exclusion from a common communicative space.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



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Date Deposited:

26 Oct 2015 13:30

Last Modified:

16 Apr 2021 15:02

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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