By D. Buckingham, Liesbeth de Block
Young children at the present time are transforming into up in an international of world media, within which the voices of many cultures compete for cognizance. expanding numbers of youngsters also are electorate of the globe: they dwell in multicultural societies, many have migrated themselves and dwell inside of lively diasporic and transnational networks. The authors provide a clean viewpoint at the relationships among media, globalisation and modern adolescence.
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These new migrants from Europe are often portrayed as hard working, wealth producing and as filling a skills gap. These migrants are also often portrayed as temporary and therefore less of a threat (King and Wood, 2001). However, it is Muslims in particular who have increasingly been singled out by Western media as an undifferentiated group who are culturally alien and unwilling to assimilate – a perception that politicians of many persuasions have readily disseminated and exploited. Since the September 11th attacks on New York in 2001, the Afghan and Iraq wars and terrorist attacks in European cities and centres of Western tourism, this situation has become even more acute: immigration has increasingly come to be seen as an issue of security rather than merely one of economics or culture (Castles and Miller, 2003).
Yet as new representations and narratives become available, new forms of imagination and fantasy become possible, and new kinds of identity can be developed. Difference is no longer seen in terms of clear oppositions but in more complex nuances: it is a matter ‘of the trace of something which still retains its roots in one meaning while it is, as it were, moving to another ’ (1991: 50). Yet Hall also highlights the need to engage with the ‘hard game’ of the politics of identity. This returns us to Nederveen Pieterse’s description of the meeting of difference as a point of conflict and struggle, whilst also being a catalyst for new beginnings and transformations.
On the one hand, there is a growing nostalgia for (or perhaps merely a fantasy about) a simpler, less diverse form of national belonging. There are calls for stronger restrictions and controls on immigration, and a resurgent emphasis on the need to assimilate immigrants into the ‘national culture’ – itself a construct that is based on an imagined national history, destiny and values that are presumed to be shared. Far right parties are gaining ground and influencing centrist governments to ‘toughen up’ (van Donselaar and Rodrigues, 2001).