Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ethnic Minority Networks
Donald R. Browne
When radio networks first appeared in the early 1920s, ethnic minorities were invisible elements in majority societies, and in many cases were under pressure to abandon their traditions and conform to mainstream culture. If those minorities spoke “foreign” languages (such as those spoken by indigenous peoples including the Maori in New Zealand), their languages might be expected to die off in due time, and in many cases their usage was actively discouraged by educational and religious institutions. While their speakers might be welcome guests permitted to sing or speak in their own tongues, mainstream media would decide when to issue such invitations. The modest sizes of many minority populations, coupled with their frequent economic weakness and the long prevalence of mainstream assimilationist policies, have meant that minority-operated electronic media outlets have emerged slowly and tentatively, with minority networks lagging even farther behind. That situation still largely prevails, even as civil ...