Peter R. Alfieri

Abstracts

1 Migratory Diaspora: The Media and the Human Element

Authors: Peter R. Alfieri

Abstract:

The principal aim of this research and presentation is to give global and personal perspective of the migratory diaspora and how it is perceived by a substantial majority that relies on the media’s portrayal of migratory movements. Since its Greek origins the word “diaspora” has taken on several connotations, but none has surpassed its use in regard to the human element; because since before the dawn of history, man has had to struggle for survival. That survival was a struggle against the elements and other natural enemies, but none as tenacious and relentless as other men. Many have used the term diaspora to describe the spread of certain ethnic groups resulting in new generations in new places; but has the human diaspora been as haphazard as that of spores? The quest for survival has spawned migrations that are not quite that simple, even though it has several similarities to plant spores or dandelion seeds flying throughout the atmosphere. Man kind has constantly migrated in search of food, shelter, and safety. When they were able to find food and shelter, they would inform others who would venture to the new place. Information, whether through word of mouth, written material, or visual communications, has been a moving force in man’s life; and it spurred migrants in their quest for better environments. Today we pride ourselves in being able to communicate instantly with anyone anywhere in the world, and we are privileged to see most of what is happening in the world thanks to the highly developed modern media. Is Media a “wind/force” instrumental in propelling the diaspora throughout the world? The media has been the tool that has incentive many migratory, but unfortunately it is also the means responsible for many misconceptions regarding migrants and their hosts. Has the Media presented an unbiased view of the migrant or has it been the means that generated negative or prejudiced views of the migrant and, perhaps, the host environment? Some examples were easily seen in 19th century the United States where they advertised the following, “Help needed, Irish need not apply”. How do immigrants circumvent latent barriers that are not as obvious as the ones just mentioned? Some immigrants return home and have children that decide to emigrate. It is a perpetual cycle in the search for self-improvement. The stories that are brought back might be inspiration for the new generation of emigrants. Poverty, hunger, and political turmoil spur most migrations. The majority learn from others or through the media about certain destinations that will provide one or several opportunities to improve their existence. Many of those migrants suffer untold hardships to succeed. When they succeed, they provide a great incentive for their children to obtain an education or skill that will insure them a better life. Although the new environment may contribute greatly to a successful career, most immigrants do not forget their own struggle. They see the media’s portrayal of other migrants from all over the globe. Some try to communicate to others the true feelings of despair felt by immigrants, because they are all brothers and sisters in the perennial struggle for a better life. “HOPE” for a better life drives the immigrant toward the unknown and it has helped overcome the obstacles that present themselves challenging every newcomer. Hope and perseverance strengthen the resolve of the migrant in his struggle to survive.

Keywords: Education, Migration, Media, heath, obstacles

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