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The role of media in cultural and social identities construction. The case of Kosovar immigrants in Switzerland

Applicant Richeri Giuseppe
Number 130088
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Istituto Media e Giornalismo (IMeG) Facoltà di Scienze della Comunicazione Università della Svizzera italiana
Institution of higher education Università della Svizzera italiana - USI
Disciplines Communication and Media Sciences
Start/End 01.05.2010 - 31.05.2013
Approved amount 256'270.00
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Keywords (7)

media consumption, migration, intercultural communication, integration, social identity, cultural identity, Diaspora

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The research focuses on two dimensions: it will determine the characteristics and specificities of media consumption (media diet) of Kosovars in Switzerland; and it will analyze the role of media consumption on the integration process and social and cultural identities construction. The study will for the first part being descriptive and determine the media diet of Kosovar immigrants in the three linguistic regions of Switzerland concerning radio, daily press and magazines, television, home-video, internet, books and cinema. The objective is to provide a picture of the type of media used, the modalities of consumption, as well as the semantic roles attached so to determine which factors, personal and socio-cultural, are inscribed in media consumption. The second part of the study will be explorative. It will determine the role of media in language and knowledge acquisition and investigate the communication networks and the imagined communities maintained through media use. The main focus in this second part is on the integration process, in particular focusing on social identities, both in terms of self-identification and hetero-identification, and cultural identities. In particular, the aim is to determine if and under which conditions media consumption fosters assimilation and integration or, on the other side, separation and marginalization. The research will also analyze how immigrants' media use influences on the one side identification processes, or in other words a sense of belonging to one or more social groups, and on the other side how the exposition to different cultural media products affects the cultural identities of individuals. As a final objective, the study will verify the connections between these two identity aspects and the integration process. Following the example set by media studies the research will focus on qualitative methods, and in particular those formulated by ethnography. The research will be based on three tools: in-depth interviews; observation; focus group. Concerning the sample, the study focuses on one of the most important migrant communities in Switzerland: Albanian speaking Kosovars, which represents a prominent target group of integration policies but at the same time very few data are available on it. The size of the community is important: reliable estimates account for over 150'000 individuals living in Switzerland. This immigrant group is particularly heterogeneous in terms of migration motives (economic, political), time spent in Switzerland, and religious beliefs.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Exploring media use among migrant families in Europe. Theoretical foundations and reflections
Dhoest Alexander, Nikunen Kaarina, Cola Marta (2013), Exploring media use among migrant families in Europe. Theoretical foundations and reflections, in Observatorio (OBS*), special issue, 13-31.
The Kosovar Diaspora in Switzerland: Construction of Identities between Media Use and Diasporic Traits
Cola Marta, Iseni Bashkim, Mauri Brusa Manuel (2012), The Kosovar Diaspora in Switzerland: Construction of Identities between Media Use and Diasporic Traits, in Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations, 14(4), 47-63.
Studying ethnic minorities’ media uses:
Dhoest Alexander, Cola Marta, Mauri Brusa Manuel, Lemish Dafna (2012), Studying ethnic minorities’ media uses:, in Communication, Culture & Critique, 5, 372-391.
The Kosovar Diaspora in Switzerland: cultures, identities and sense of belongings
Cola Marta, Mauri Brusa Manuel (2012), The Kosovar Diaspora in Switzerland: cultures, identities and sense of belongings, in A. Eamer (ed.), Border Terrains: World Diasporas in the 21st Century, Inter-disciplinary Press, Oxford, 119-128.
Researching ethnic minority groups as audiences: Methodological challenges and research strategies
ColaMarta, Mauri Brusa Manuel (accepted), Researching ethnic minority groups as audiences: Methodological challenges and research strategies, in G. Patriarche, H. Bilandzic, J.L. Jensen , J. Jurisic (ed.), Audience Research Methodologies: Between Innovation and Consolidation, Routledge, London, 107-123.

Co-operation

Group / person Country
Fields of collaboration
Institut Suisse d’Etudes Albanaises (ISEAL) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place
International Communication Association Conference 24.05.2012 Phoenix, Arizona
ECREA – Diaspora, Migration and Media Section (DMM) conference 02.12.2011 National University of Ireland, Maynooth
International Workshop: Migrant Transnationalism and Integration in Digital Era 25.11.2011 Neuchâtel
4th Global Conference Diasporas – Exploring Critical Issues 04.07.2011 Oxford


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television “Mass media e integrazione” (Mass media and integration) RSI LA1 - Il Ponte - Italian-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: radio, television “Integrazione Kosovara” (Kosovar integration) RSI LA1 - Il Ponte - Italian-speaking Switzerland 2011

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
109700 Media diet in Swiss Italian households 01.10.2005 Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)

Abstract

The research focuses on two dimensions: it will determine the characteristics and specificities of media consumption (media diet) of Kosovars in Switzerland; and it will analyze the role of media consumption on the integration process and social and cultural identities construction. The study will for the first part being descriptive and determine the media diet of Kosovar immigrants in the three linguistic regions of Switzerland concerning radio, daily press and magazines, television, home-video, internet, books and cinema. The objective is to provide a picture of the type of media used, the modalities of consumption, as well as the semantic roles attached so to determine which factors, personal and socio-cultural, are inscribed in media consumption. The second part of the study will be explorative. It will determine the role of media in language and knowledge acquisition and investigate the communication networks and the imagined communities maintained through media use. The main focus in this second part is on the integration process, in particular focusing on social identities, both in terms of self-identification and hetero-identification, and cultural identities. In particular, the aim is to determine if and under which conditions media consumption fosters assimilation and integration or, on the other side, separation and marginalization. The research will also analyze how immigrants’ media use influences on the one side identification processes, or in other words a sense of belonging to one or more social groups, and on the other side how the exposition to different cultural media products affects the cultural identities of individuals. As a final objective, the study will verify the connections between these two identity aspects and the integration process. Following the example set by media studies the research will focus on qualitative methods, and in particular those formulated by ethnography. The research will be based on three tools: - in-depth interviews: to reconstruct the interviewees’ experience as immigrants and the variety of practices in relation with their status and media use; - observation: to observe the objectifications of the households’ aesthetic and domestic culture in the arrangement and display of pictures, photographs, objects and furniture in the rooms and in particular media; - focus group: to discuss and to validate what came out from the interviews, generally speaking the immigrants’ media practices and their meanings. Concerning the sample, the study focuses on one of the most important migrant communities in Switzerland: Albanian speaking Kosovars, which represents a prominent target group of integration policies but at the same time very few data are available on it. The size of the community is important: reliable estimates account for over 150’000 individuals living in Switzerland. This immigrant group is particularly heterogeneous in terms of migration motives (economic, political), time spent in Switzerland, and religious beliefs. We will proceed to a purposive sampling in order to get a sample as varied as possible. We will consider the variables age, gender and period of stay in Switzerland. Other variables not considered in the sampling will be considered as confounding variables. Their weight and influence will be accounted for in the analysis through stratification. The chosen tools will allow to: Concerning media consumption: - develop a media use inventory (media diet) with particular reference to traditional and new media, both Swiss and foreign; detect the factors (both individual and social) inscribed in media consumption; create inventories of media products developed by or addressed to Kosovars in Switzerland; - compare media use in the three main Swiss linguistic regions. With regard to processes of integration and identities formation: - investigate the role of media as a means for acculturation and integration and define the social networks to which the immigrants belong, as well as investigate issues of translocality and multiple senses of belonging; - analyze the specific role of media in cultural and social identities construction and the creation and maintaining of identities related to the country of origin or of the host country, as well as new hybrid forms of identity.