Publication Details

Klocker, N. (2014). Ethnic diversity within Australian homes: Has television caught up to social reality?. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 35 (1), 34-52.


Inter-ethnic intimacy is on the rise in Australia, bringing an unprecedented level of ethnic diversity into our homes. Yet analyses of media representations of ethnic diversity have concentrated on the community level, neglecting the intimate sphere of family life. This paper explores the possibilities and limits of love within and across ethnic boundaries on fictional Australian television programmes. The results of a nine-week content analysis reveal a mixed picture. Inter-ethnic intimacy was regularly portrayed; but committed, long-term relationships across ethnic boundaries (marriage and co-habitation) were scarce. And although Australian television producers did not shy away from portraying physical intimacy across ethnic boundaries, emotional intimacy was often absent. Overt stereotyping of ethnic minority characters involved in inter-ethnic relationships was rare - instead, ethnic differences were downplayed or erased. Storylines were underpinned by the assimilation of inter-ethnic couples - in all their diversity - into the (white) mainstream.



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