Title
Establishing a multi-ethnic imagined community? Ethnic minority audiences watching Flemish soaps Establishing a multi-ethnic imagined community? Ethnic minority audiences watching Flemish soaps
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Sociology
Source (journal)
European journal of communication. - London, 1986, currens
Volume/pages
24(2009) :3 , p. 305-323
ISSN
0267-3231
1460-3705
ISI
000269159000003
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Television is often conceived as a unifying force, creating a national imagined community. This article tries to apply this concept to the audience of domestic fiction in Flanders, in particular ethnic minority viewers. Based on in-depth interviews with 80 young adults of both Flemish and ethnic minority backgrounds, it focuses on the viewing of domestic soaps. The findings show very similar patterns of reception, both groups preferring American fiction and criticizing Flemish fiction. An important difference is that ethnic minority viewers do not consider the soap world as a representation of their own reality. A related difference concerns their dissatisfaction with the portrayal of ethnic minorities, in spite of the attempts of programme makers to provide positive role models. While confirming the importance of ethnic identity in television viewing and demonstrating the variety within the assumed homogeneous national viewing community, the similarities found caution against a binary opposition between native Flemish and ethnic minority viewpoints.
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