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[Commlist] cfp edited book: Revisiting ethnic media in Canada: Policies, practices, and integration

Thu Aug 08 12:13:11 GMT 2019


Revisiting ethnic media in Canada: Policies, practices, and integration

Daniel Ahadi, Sherry S. Yu, and Ahmed Al-Rawi

Ethnic media research has been active in Canada in the past few decades (see for example, Ahmed, 2015; Black & Leithner, 1988; Hirji, 2010; Karim, 2003; Yu, 2018; BC Ethnic Media Study [Murray, Yu, & Ahadi, 2007]; Ottawa Multicultural Media Initiative [Ahmed, 2011-2016]). Studies have found that ethnic media play various functions, including preserving the culture of their respective communities, uniting and strengthening the sense of community, providing an alternative voice, and offering basic information that is vital to settlement and civic engagement.

Building on this body of literature, more in-depth investigation is timely, considering not only the increasingly complicated layers of identity and belonging along lines of ethnicity, race, gender, religion, language, nationality, and citizenship, among other traits, but also the subsequent challenges of the reciprocal or two-way integration of majority and minority populations in Canada. More importantly, there is no comprehensive collection of ethnic media research with a specific focus on Canada.

This book attempts to explore theories, methodologies, policies, and practices concerning ethnic media, and to offer insights on the nature of ethnic media production and consumption and related implications. Specifically, the focus is on how journalists, media practitioners, industry stakeholders, and audiences in Canada engage with ethnic media, and what this media sector means for socio-cultural, economic, and political integration, or lack thereof.

Generally, the debates surrounding ethnic media fall within two broader streams. The integrative stream acknowledges ethnic media’s role in helping the integration of minority groups into the mainstream culture, and fostering ethnic cohesion and cultural maintenance, through their symbolic function as mediators of identities and their connective function as mediators of information. These media also enhance the public sphere in their role of encouraging debate on different issues that are relevant to ethnic groups. On the other hand, the non-integrative stream expresses concerns about ethnic media’s divisive role as they can alienate minority groups from the mainstream culture.

Increasingly, there is recognition of ethnic media’s complementary role to mainstream media, reflecting the convergence culture in what Sreberny calls “not only, but also” (2005). In other words, ethnic media provide an alternative perspective to what is already covered in mainstream media. In this regard, ethnic journalism is seen to be capable of altering the hierarchy of access to news by focusing on ethnic groups rather than those who have historically been in position of privilege and power. This is achieved in the way that the different media platforms provide an outlet for self-representation, to voice concerns and highlight the important issues relevant to specific minority groups.

These streams of thought, however, confirm the conventional notion of ethnic media as media by and for ethnic minorities. This book challenges the conceptual boundary of ethnic media and invites scholars to revisit ethnic media from critical perspectives. For example, theoretically, is the term “ethnic media” appropriate? Methodologically, what are the challenges and innovative approaches that need to be considered when studying ethnic media, especially in the digital age?

More research is also needed on the historical account of ethnic media, and the role of policies, regulations, and industry codes in ethnic media journalism. Ethnic media date back to the 1800s in Canada; however, their significance in Canadian journalism is often underestimated. Similarly, the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy stipulates what ethnic broadcasting should provide; however, does it or do any other media policies properly address the actual needs of ethnic media production and consumption on the ground?

More research is also needed on the role of ethnic media in intercultural communication. Ethnic media tend to be studied in isolation as media for ethnic communities, with less attention to their integrative role as multi-cultural, -ethnic, and -lingual information hubs that inform members of broader society about these communities. Related to this area of research is the growing digital spaces created by younger generations whose in-betweenness or hyphenated identities not only find ways to establish communicative spaces for those of similar backgrounds, but also enable them to reach out to a broader audience. This book intends to fill these gaps in ethnic media research in Canada.

The editors of this book have experience in ethnic media research internationally, North America and Europe. By ethnic group, the editors also have published research on Iranian, Korean, and Arab Canadian/American media (see the editors’ bios below). Based on our collective experience in ethnic media research, we now turn to Canada and its diverse ethnic media landscape. We welcome theoretical and empirical contributions (qualitative or quantitative), case studies, and policy papers, from various disciplines that explore the areas listed below though not only limited to them:

• Critical approaches to theories of media and diversity (e.g., de-westernization, post- colonial theory)

• Critical approaches to methodologies of ethnic media research

• Historical perspectives on ethnic media

• Media policies towards ethnic media

• Ethnic media, politics, citizenship, and civic engagement

• Ethnic media and identity politics

• Ethnic media and intercultural communication

• Ethnic media and Indigenous media

• Ethnic media as alternative media

• Market and the political economy of ethnic media

• New media technologies and emerging sites of ethnic media (e.g., mobile apps, digital platforms, social media, video games, online dating sites)

• Feminism, women, and ethnic media

• Youth and communicative spaces

• Tensions between transnational (global) and ethnic (local) media, in terms of content and impact


Deadline for abstract: Please indicate interest by submitting a 300-500-word abstract and brief bios as a PDF attachment directly to Daniel Ahadi ((daniel_ahadi /at/ <mailto:(daniel_ahadi /at/>) by October 15, 2019

Decision: December 15, 2019

Deadline for full paper: May 1, 2020

Publication: Fall 2021

A few words about the Editors:

Daniel Ahadi (PhD, Simon Fraser University, School of Communication) is a Lecturer in the School of Communication and a Research Associate at the Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities at Simon Fraser University, Canada. His research focuses on the development of self and identity within the context of media, migration, globalization, and formation of transnational diasporas. His most recent publications include, “Disrupting the digital: Persian- language community radio in Stockholm and the continued relevance of analogue media in a digital age,” in Ethnic Media in the Digital Age (2019, Routledge) and “Ethnic Media and Acculturation,” in International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication (2018, Wiley).

Sherry S. Yu (PhD, Simon Fraser University, School of Communication) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her research explores multiculturalism, media, and social integration, with a special interest in diasporic media in relation to cultural literacy, intercultural dialogue, and civic engagement in a multicultural society. She is the author of Diasporic Media beyond the Diaspora: Korean Media in Vancouver and Los Angeles (2018, UBC Press) and the co-editor of Ethnic Media in the Digital Age (2019, Routledge). Her research also has been published in scholarly journals such as Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, Journalism Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Canadian Journal of Communication, and Global Media Journal — Canadian Edition.

Ahmed Al-Rawi (PhD, University of Leicester, School of Media, Communication, & Sociology) is an Assistant Professor of Social Media, News, and Public Communication in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, Canada. His research expertise is related to global communication, news, social media, and the Middle East with emphasis on critical theory. He authored three books and over fifty peer reviewed book chapters and articles published in journals like Information, Communication & Society, Social Media+Society, and Journalism. Al-Rawi co-edited a book with Karim Karim entitled Media and Diaspora in Europe: Migration, Identity, and Integration (2018, Springer/Palgrave Macmillan) that examined the experiences of different migrant groups in Europe and their media use.


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