chapter  3
14 Pages

3CLAIMING A CULTURAL SPACE

The dynamics of video viewing by Croatian and Macedonian audiences is inextricably linked with the socio-historical formations of the two ethnic communities in Western Australia. This is because the positioning of the audience, as well as of the individual viewer, towards the cultural texts, in this case video tapes, depends on the viewers’ cultural competence (Bourdieu 1980, 1984). The cultural competence of the two ethnic audiences is constructed and informed by their collective and personal histories and crosscut by their class or social status, gender and other differences such as their political and religious affiliations. According to John Fiske ‘cultural competence’ also ‘involves a critical understanding of the text and the conventions by which it is constructed, and involves a constant and subtle negotiation and renegotiation of the relationship between the textual and the social’ (1987:19). The video tapes circulated and watched in the Croatian and Macedonian communities in Perth were a potent kind of cultural text, which when mixed with the sociocultural circumstances of migration and with the pressures of everyday confrontation with changes in the homeland and the existing cultural competence, could be accommodated only by re-negotiation of the cultural identity.