Kent Wilkinson Regents Professor in Hispanic and International Communication Texas Tech University Universidad de Navarra Lecture – Day Three, April 14, 2010 Diaspora, Identity, Ethnicity and Health Communication
Outline for Today’s Session
Definition and discussion of three key concepts: diaspora, identity and ethnicity
Discussion of the role(s) of media in creating and maintaining these three concepts
Discuss select student homework submissions
Hispanic-oriented health communication – applied example
Open discussion of student questions, interests, etc.
What does the term ‘diaspora’ refer to?
the dispersion of ethnic or religious groups who have left their place of origin and are spread around the world, living among other ethnic/religious groups.
Map of Jews in Europe as of 2005 http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diáspora Migrations of Africans and People of African Descent 1492-1992 http://www.bc.edu/schools/cas/aads/DiasporaMap.html
Arjun Appadurai published an article in 1990 which has been cited frequently by globalization scholars. He discusses the interaction among 5 “-scapes” which can help us understand the concept of diaspora:
Technoscape - the rapidly-expanding infrastructure of high- and low-technology that facilitates message exchanges at greater volumes and decreasing cost.
Financescape - the movement of capital and other forms of equity via electronic data transfer within and across nation states.
Ideoscape – transmission of political ideologies and counter-ideologies of governments and other political actors vying to influence policy, public opinion, etc.
Ethnoscape - the diverse and increasingly mobile landscape of people moving within and across national boundaries for multiple reasons.
Mediascape - the communication industries which produce and distribute information and entertainment and the content itself which influences people’s sensemaking of their environment.
The distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity; the individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognized or known. (http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu)
We tend to identify with particular cultural or social groups (in-groups) and perceive ourselves to be distinct from members of other groups (out-groups). We may emphasize or diminish certain affiliations in different social settings.
How do the media influence our perceptions of ourselves and others?
Affiliation resulting from racial or cultural ties; the quality of belonging to an ethnic group. From the Greek ethnos : ‘tribe’ or ‘nation.’
Situational Ethnicity : Multicultural, multilingual individuals have a broader range of options to draw from as they interact with others. Thus they can adopt different ways of communicating their self to others according to a social context. Consider the case of a bilingual Latina:
At a professional lunch with her English-speaking co-workers
Visiting the home of her monolingual (Spanish) in-laws
At home raising her children in a bilingual, bicultural environment
Ethnicity and Media
Mainstream cultural shifts in many countries have created new opportunities for identity construction.
Traditional “mass” media markets have fractured and concentrated efforts to reach ‘niche’ audiences through streamlined media have emerged.
Interactive media allow consumers to be producers as well as recipients of media content (i.e. webpages, blogs, social networking sites). These may be customized according to racial, ethnicity, gender and other facets of one’s identity.
New technologies offer more dynamic and complex ways for people to stay connected—or reconnect—with the cultural in-groups they are affiliated with.
Countries with High Obesity and Diabetes Levels
ADULT OBESE POPULATION
Saudi Arabia 35.6%
United Arab Emirates 33.7%
United States 32.2%
United Kingdom 24.2%
DIABETES IN ADULTS
United Arab Emirates 19.5%
Saudi Arabia 16.7%
Using Multi-Method Communication Research to Combat Diabetes and Obesity Among Rural Hispanics in West Texas
Obesity and Type II diabetes mellitus are major health threats in the U.S. now and in the future.
Potential Consequence of Childhood Obesity: 1 st generation of Americans to have a shorter life span than their parents?
Estimated lifetime cost of care for child w/ Type II diabetes - $7,000,000.
Hispanics have higher obesity and diabetes rates than most other population groups.
Non-Hispanic whites 6.6% Asian Americans 7.5%
Hispanics 10.4% Non-Hispanic blacks 11.8%
(2004-2006 national survey data for people diagnosed with diabetes, aged 20 years or older)
Combating Diabetes and Obesity Among Rural Hispanics in West Texas
Bilingual, cross-generational study of language and media use and preferences among Hispanics in counties surrounding Lubbock, Texas.
$50,000 grant from F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health (TTUHSC). January–July 2007.
Multi-Method Research Design
Approach the same problems from multiple directions
Include expertise from the College of Mass Communications and Department of Communication Studies
733 respondents self-reported:
Diet and exercise routines
Height and weight (used to calculate Body Mass Index [BMI])
Language preference and media use
Sources of health information
Four focus groups comprised of Hispanic participants from West Texas.
Two adult participant focus groups
One discussion in English, other in Spanish
20 women, 3 men ages ranging from mid 20s to late 50s
Two youth focus groups - children of the above adults
Both groups conducted in English
13 girls, 13 boys 11-15 years old
Focus groups allowed for open-ended dialogue and in-depth insights on:
Typical eating habits
Challenges to healthy eating
Outside influences (such as the media and extended familial and social networks)
Perceptions/knowledge of diabetes and participants’ perceptions of their likelihood of developing diabetes
Themes from Focus Groups
1. Vulnerability to Diabetes
2. Food Consumption
Acculturation factors impact choices
3. Importance of Parental Modeling
Motivations for kids to be healthy
Show them how to eat healthy and exercise
Inconsistencies in parents’ behaviors
4. Challenges to Healthy Eating Habits
No support from other parent
Important others do not cooperate
Wanting to please children
Children cannot motivate themselves
5. Parents Need Support
Parents feel powerless
Parents need reinforcement from others
Messages from someone they believe
The branch of physiology dealing with the relationships among physiological processes and thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
Automatic versus controlled resources
Diabetes and obesity are significant threats to the health of rural Hispanics in West Texas
Health messages need to be tailored according to age and preferred language/media of audiences
Positive, family-oriented messages are more effective than fear appeals
Parents often feel powerless to resist the influence of fast food corporations—including its low price--and many behavioral influences on children outside the home.
Media-based appeals must dovetail with messages coming from knowledgeable sources within the household and/or an at-risk individual’s personal sphere of influence outside the home.
Thank you for your kind hospitality over the past three days!