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Mediating Global Filipinos: The Filipino Channel and the Filipino Diaspora


Mediating Global Filipinos: The Filipino Channel and the Filipino Diaspora examines the notion of the "global Filipino" as imagined and constructed vis-à-vis television programs on The Filipino Channel (TFC). This study contends that transnational Philippine media broadly construct the notion of "global Filipinos" as diverse, productive, multicultural citizens, which in effect establishes a unified overseas Filipino citizenry for Philippine economic welfare and global cultural capital. Despite the network's attempts at representing difference and inclusion, what the notion of "global Filipinos" does not address are the structural and social inequities that affect the everyday lives Filipino diasporans and the ways in which immigrants and second generation Filipino Americans alike carefully negotiate family ties and the politics of their changing identities and commitments. Taking into account TFC's impact on audiences, interviews with first- and second-generation Filipino Americans in San Diego revealed that while they were aware of the global span of Filipino communities, even touting Filipino success, diligence, and adaptability that is often featured in ethnic television media, Filipino American immigrants continued to identify with their regional affiliations even as they gravitated to Philippine-based television media. Furthermore, although there are efforts to expand U.S.-based production to address local issues and broaden its reach across different segments of Filipino American audiences, second generation Filipino Americans sought to understand and express their ethnic identities outside of Philippine-based mediums.

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