Migrant communication: Cuban-Americans and the media in Miami, FL

Lohmeier, Christine (2011) Migrant communication: Cuban-Americans and the media in Miami, FL. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b2871046


This thesis examines an exile community’s relation to media. In particular, it focuses on the case of the Cuban-American community and English- as well as Spanish-language media based in Miami, FL. Following the revolution under Fidel Castro in 1959, Miami developed into the capital of the Cuban exile. Over the past decades, the Cuban-American community formed a nucleus which attracted further migration from South America and the Caribbean. The incoming migrants contributed to turning Miami into a flourishing economic urban space. Furthermore, the Cuban-American community was a vital player in creating a vibrant media scene.

This thesis is situated in the context of ongoing debates on diasporic communities, notions of exile and liminality and theories addressing the tensions between the local, the national and the transnational. Empirical data for this project has been gathered in three periods of field work in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Journalists, media executives and active members of the Cuban-American community were targeted as key informants in the field. This thesis argues that the locale of a migrant community is of as much significance as national and transnational ambitions. The tensions between and imbrications of the local, national and transnational are evident in the media’s content, aim and scope. By mapping Miami as a place and social space, relations between the Cuban-American and other communities are discussed in detail. The heart of the thesis contains an in-depth analysis of the different media, i.e. the press, radio, television, and the internet. The chapters explore how these media have interacted with early Cuban migrants as well as their relationship to the Cuban-American community today. The findings point towards diverse and complex patterns. Time of migration, cultural background and age are significant factors on an individual’s approach to certain media. In turn, some media outlets clearly cater for specific segments of the community. A key point is that the media’s role in relation to the Cuban-American community is a balance act of local, national and transnational remits.

The research contributes to debates on media, migration and communication research. It is the first comprehensive study of the Cuban-American community and their relationship to Miami-based media. Secondly, it takes a holistic view of the broader media ecology. The analysis is informed by the wider historical context. It encompasses detailed analysis of a variety of media and how these are interlinked. Moreover, this thesis employs an innovative research methodology in that it takes an etic, non-mediacentric approach to researching the media of a diasporic group.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Cuban-Americans, Miami, media, migration, diaspora, media ethnography
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Schlesinger, Prof. Philip
Date of Award: 2011
Embargo Date: 10 June 2014
Depositing User: Ms Christine Lohmeier
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-2698
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2011
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2018 12:23
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2698

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