“Ethnic minorities’ media experiences: from the transnational to the local”, with Tristan Mattelart

Tristan Mattelart was the guest of the last session of the Doctoral Seminars of Communication Sciences and Cultural Studies, held last Friday in the Institute of Social Sciences. The Professor of the University of Paris II presented the communication “Ethnic minorities’ media experiences: from the transnational to the local”, having the opportunity to explain his investigation that resulted in the article with the same name.

According to the researcher, since France is a strong country in studies on minorities, he felt the need to point out new perspectives. “In 2012, we conducted a qualitative study among 40 families of Maghrebi origin living in the Paris region, aiming at analysing their ordinary media and new media uses”, explained Matterlart. “What is important in this study is that [the families] had a spontaneous speech. We do not feel resistance”.

For the reasearcher, although they are symbols of transnational connections, these populations have stopped being ordinary media users. “Only a small minority of our respondents could be described unproblematically described as being, to their cross border television consumption, banal transnationalists”, and “in order to enrich their daily news diet, they resort, outside times of crisis, to an eclectic assortment of either mainstream or minority, offline or online, but mainly local or national media”.

In conclusion, for Mattelart, “if mediated transnational interactions are indubitably important, we should be cautious, when considering these, of not obscuring the importance of mediated interactions operating at other scales”. The researcher therefore sought to alert the tendency to relativize the connection of the migrant to his country .

In an open conversation with the audience, Matterlart also recalled that “digital networks are not the solution. They can be used, but alone they are not solutions, because the solutions are not technological. Digital networks are not social actors”.