Exploring the representation of xenophobia in a South African television drama series: A Zimbabwean audience's perspective

A great deal of research has been conducted on minorities and their representation in the media in various parts of the world (Evra 2004: 67; Miller 1996; Vicsek & Markus 2008: 124). Fundamentally, the reason for this is political, as 'the cohesion or rupture of a social world depends on re...

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Published in: Communicatio Vol. 37; no. 2; pp. 332 - 349
Main Authors: Tager, Michele, Ngwenya, Mcebisi
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: South Africa Taylor & Francis Group 08-01-2011
UNISA Press
Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Summary: A great deal of research has been conducted on minorities and their representation in the media in various parts of the world (Evra 2004: 67; Miller 1996; Vicsek & Markus 2008: 124). Fundamentally, the reason for this is political, as 'the cohesion or rupture of a social world depends on relations among groups who perceive themselves as disadvantaged either as groups or as individuals' (Staiger 2005: 13). Television programmes, as elements of the media, are a source of information that contributes to these perceptions. Many scholars are of the view that television creates, reflects and reinforces social relations and functions as a mediation of the social world (Evra 2004: 13). In South Africa relatively little research has been conducted on the representation of minorities in local media. Particularly the representation of black immigrants and their representation on South African television has been largely ignored (Kiguwa 2008: 67; Nyamnjoh 2006). The focus of this article is not on the analysis of the representation of foreigners on television, but rather on how a specific group of viewers perceives the representation of Zimbabwean immigrants in the drama series Usindiso (Redemption), broadcast on the South African Broadcasting Corporation's SABC1. The central research question posed by this article is: How does a selected group of Zimbabwean immigrants living in Hillbrow in South Africa perceive the representation of Zimbabwean immigrants in Usindiso?
ISSN: 0250-0167
1753-5379
DOI: 10.1080/02500167.2011.580282