From Assimilation to Kalomoira: Satellite Television and its Place in New York City's Greek Community

Michael Nevradakis
2011 Global Media Journal: Canadian Edition  
This paper examines the role that imported satellite television programming from Greece has played in the maintenance and rejuvenation of Greek cultural identity and language use within the Greek-American community of New York City—the largest and most significant in the United States. Four main concepts guide this paper, based on prior theoretical research established in the field of Diaspora studies: authenticity, assertive hybridity, cultural capital, and imagined communities. Satellite
more » ... ies. Satellite television broadcasts from Greece have targeted the audience of the Hellenic Diaspora as an extension of the homeland, and as a result, are viewed as more "authentic" than Diaspora-based broadcasts. Assertive hybridity is exemplified through satellite programming such as reality shows and the emergence of transnational pop stars such as Kalomoira, who was born and raised in New York but attained celebrity status in Greece as the result of her participation on the Greek reality show Fame Story. Finally, satellite television broadcasts from Greece have fostered the formation of a transnational imagined community, linked by the shared viewing of Greek satellite programming and the simultaneous consumption of Greek pop culture and acquisition of cultural capital. All of the above concepts are evident in the emergence of a Greek "café culture" and "sports culture", mediated by satellite television and visible in the community's public spaces. These findings contradict predictions often seen in the prior scholarship on the topic, which foresaw a quick erosion of Greek language use within the Greek-American community.
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