Conclusion: After the Dust Settles
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This study laid a foundation in the study of the gap between mediated representations of Africans and their actual lived realities. It has been my aim to highlight that the African population in Australia are not merely a passive group, who do not notice the injustices done to them through ideological dominance. Just because they are not presented as empowered subjects in mediated representations does not mean that that they do not note nor feel that they are not a valued ethnic and cultural group in Australian society. In saying so the argument remains, is the media the best locus to obtain a rendering of society? Granted the media has its flaws, however, it has been regarded as the mirror of society (Cottle in Ethnic minorities & the media: changing cultural boundaries. McGraw-Hill International, New York, 2000; Durham in Crit Stud Media Commun 21(2):140–161, 2004; Jakubowicz and Seneviratne in Ethnic conflict and the Australian media, 1996. Retrieved from http://www.multiculturalaustralia.edu.au/doc/jakubowicz_3.pdf; Jeffres in Commun Res 27(4):496–535, 2000; Mainsah in Nord Rev 30(1):83–94, 2009; Rasinger in Media Cult Soc 32(6):1021–1030, 2010; Trebbe and Schoenhagen in J Int Migr Integr 12(4):411–428, 2011). For this study, the media was a key starting point because this is one of the dominant platforms in which Africans feature. Other avenues I could have pursued were the representation of Africans in the economy of Australia, professional capacities or even consumerism. These are all viable areas of research that have not been explored. However, in my academic capabilities, I feel I might not have done them justice. The study of media and ethnic groups has a long research tradition. However, I have argued in the Australian context the data on how African immigrants are portrayed or how they use the media is largely unknown. Since 1996, (22 years ago) when Africans became a statistically recognised population (Australian Bureau of Statistics in Census 2006—people born in Africa, 2008. Retrieved from Canberra: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3416.0Main+Features32008#Top; Hugo in Migration between Africa and Australia: A demographic perspective. Paper for Australian Human Rights Commission, 2009. Retrieved from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/african-australians-project-migration-between-africa-and-australia-demographic) research into the group has been sparse. This book has been an explorative investigation into the relationship between African immigrants and the media. The key extraction from this book is the value given to certain lives over others, through the way that they are discussed, perceived and esteemed socially.
KeywordsCultural studies Africans Australia Critical discourse analysis Meaning-making Snapshot survey Oral history Common knowledge Representations
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