9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN18 Sociology of Communications and Media Research

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 National Media and Sef-Observations II Building AA, AA.325

Local newspapers in foreign language as a hybrid media of intercultural communication

Our research focuses on local newspapers in foreign languages for German and English audiences. The papers are distributed in the tourist areas along the Mediterranean Coast of Spain with a high percentage of foreign resident population, most of them pensioners. In this research paper we perform a comparative analysis between local newspapers in Spanish, English and German. We assume that intercultural communication leads to cultural change along the boundaries of cultural spaces. The newspapers under study are published in this overlapping space between the domestic and the foreign culture, where the process of cultural hybridization (Canclini) is produced and reproduced. The hybridity can be seen in the ongoing cultural change taking place in many locations in the immigration areas along the coast through the contact of local, regional, national, transnational and global elements; the local papers in foreign languages are themselves the result of intercultural communication and considered as hybrid media.
Through the analysis of these papers we tried to gain insights, in an indirect way, into the guidelines of cultural interaction between foreign and native communities in Spain. In a global context that determines the local strategies of communication (glocalization), the contents of the media show the vision of both the local and the foreign cultures, and the efforts to reduce uncertainty and to increase cross-cultural competence in a new transcultural space. The structure of the contents presents, for example, the foreign papers under study as mediators in an intermediate space between two cultures, and as performers of the social realities in an asymmetric system of interchange of meaning, where the hegemony is important to understand the operation of the cultures in contact with one another.
The theoretical frame of this investigation is, among others, communication theory as introduced by Jesús Martín Barbero (Communication, Culture and Hegemony) and an adaptation of Nestor García Canclini's conceptualization about hybridization. The prior concept of "Transculturation" by the Cuban anthropologist Fernando Ortiz is also reviewed to define the process of cultural hybridization.