The research study, A Foot in Both Worlds: Transnationalism and Media Use Among Venezuelan Immigrants in South Florida, by Moses Shumow addresses issues concerning the Venezuelan immigrant community in the United States and mass media content which allows Venezuelan immigrants to live transnational lives. The research article is focused on Miami Florida and states that Venezuelan population “in the United States has grown over 90% in the past decade” (377) which makes them the fastest latinx growing population in the United States. Media is aimed for communication and in the article it states that it is through media that Venezuelan immigrants are able to stay in touch with the roots they left behind. The research studies the “role of the media in the formation of 21st century immigrant community and… how these factors are related to the multiple theoretical facets of research on transnationalism” (377). The research is based on interviews conducted to Venezuelans, four of them were womxn and six were men. Through the interviews, the researchers found that media indeed allows folks who have migrated to the United States to live transnational lives, however, Venezuelan press outlets chose what they wish to report out of fear of being discontinued by others like their former president Hugo Chavez. This exclusion of information reduces the information available for those who were forced to leave their country and creates a feeling of division among the community.
The goals of the study were to understand how the role of media and information are related to their ability to adapt and assimilate to a new country and how a new identity is developed. The study does a great how at incorporating the immigrant experience and how important it is for undocumented folks to stay in touch with their roots. It also incorporates how the media can manipulate the things they report thereby causing sense of division among members of the community and dismantling community unity. The research describes a clear understanding on how the media influences the type of information people consume about their country while integrating themselves in their new home (390). All findings were acquired through qualitative data based on a sampling method of ten interviews which I find to be one of the weaknesses of the study especially since it was conducted in Miami which was reputedly said to be the “Hollywood of Latin America” (379) by the author. The people interviewed for the study were higher status folks who had well paying jobs and careers. To make the study more relatable towards the general community, there should have been a variety of community members included such as members of lower class, LGBTQIA+ folks, and more womxn.
Overall, the study does a good job at incorporating political issues that have affected Venezuela and its people. It demonstrates how Hugo Chavez’s political agenda has forced Venezuelans to leave their country and has also limited the connections they have once they leave. It engages conflicts Venezuelan immigrants face once they leave their country which is what my group will be focusing on.