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Subversion and Ambivalence: Pacific Islanders on New Zealand Prime Time
|dc.identifier.citation||Pearson, S. 1999. Subversion and Ambivalence: Pacific Islanders on New Zealand Prime Time. The Contemporary Pacific 11 (2): 361-88.|
|dc.description.abstract||Representations of Pacific Islanders in film and mainstream media have often been negative and marginalizing. Opportunities for Pacific Island communities to present counter images, express resistance, or enter into dialogue with these stereotypes have been limited. However, some instances of resistance have emerged recently, not on film but on broadcast television in New Zealand. Because the "small screen" is less capital-intensive than film, and because public service broadcasting provides some support for minority programming in New Zealand, television is a significant instrument through which Pacific Islanders counteract hegemony. The sketch Milburn Place was one instance in which television comedy could be potentially subversive insofar as it made Samoans "visible" on the New Zealand mediascape. It provided a forum in which to critique social inequality and racial intolerance as well as celebrate an emerging New Zealand Samoan identity. This paper discusses and documents how Milburn Place used carnivalesque strategies to disempower stereotypes and to raise serious sociopolitical issues in a "safe" arena. However, the nature of comedy, and parody in particular, ensures that multiple and contradictory interpretations occur. Ultimately, Milburn Place negotiated an ambivalent path between subversive and reactionary readings, under the exigencies imposed by commercial television and New Zealand's majority culture.|
|dc.publisher||University of Hawai'i Press|
|dc.publisher||Center for Pacific Islands Studies|
|dc.subject||Aotearoa New Zealand|
|dc.subject.lcsh||Oceania -- Periodicals.|
|dc.title||Subversion and Ambivalence: Pacific Islanders on New Zealand Prime Time|
|Appears in Collections:||
TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 1999 - Volume 11, Number 2|
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