Viewing Globalization in Mexican-American Transnational Social Spaces
his doctoral project focuses on the reception of television news by audiences of Mexican origins in the United States. Having completed the data analysis (obtained through fieldwork), the key findings suggest that reception analysis is a productive strategy to visualize the experiences and social practices engaged by migrant, diasporic and transnational communities; that such practices are reproductive of transnational social fields where the global intersects with the local and the diasporic; and that television news may inherently destabilize ideas of ontological security amongst transnational audiences. The project is set to become a meaningful contribution to the academic endeavour in the fields of transnational communication, media studies, and the work concerned with migration, diasporas and their dynamics between sending and receiving societies. This is within the context of what is frequently described as a post-colonial and post-national age. In this context, findings signal that the reception of television news is linked to the production of a mental space, a process that is useful to map out migration in terms of an interaction between physical and symbolic experience, occurring in what I call multi-layered geographic spaces. These realms are composed by the local, the global and the homeland as dimensions of diasporic existence. This development links to concepts regarding the spaces of diaspora and transnational social fields, which aid visualization of migration patterns beyond nation-bound models. This move is a thrust to think outside the ‘container’ models of assimilation in receiving societies, and away from ‘a teleology of origin/ return’ (Clifford, 1994: 306) which has dominated academic thinking about the concept of diaspora. More attention should instead be given to the equally significant ‘decentered, lateral connections’ (ibid.) that are bred along migrant relocations. Building on Rouse’s (1991: 248–7) suggestion that a new migrant cartography ‘ought to be ... discoverable in the details of people’s daily lives’, the approach to reception analysis pitched in this doctoral investigation, which is in its stage of completion, is a way to improve understanding of how individuals face globalization in their everyday lives.