Qualitative Exploration of Representation of the Balochi Identity in Mass Media; Case Study: Baloch Graduate Students

Document Type : Original Article


1 sociology, faculty of social science, Shiraz university

2 Associate Professor of sociology, Shiraz University


Extended Abstract
Introduction and Purpose of the Research:  The media in multi-ethnic and multicultural countries can be an important tool for national cohesion or serve as the bedrock of ethnic and national crises. They can strengthen cultural diversity as the country's heritage or can distort and destroy cultural diversity by discriminating against access to representational tools, and become the ground for national divergence. In Iran, the media, due to their affiliation with the government and the political system, can cause serious damage to peaceful relations between Iranian ethnic groups if they implement ill-considered or dysfunctional policies and cause tension between ethnic groups and other Iranians. The present study was conducted with the purpose of qualitative exploration of representation of the Balochi identity in mass media (Seda and Sima, cinema, provincial television networks and virtual social networks ) among Baloch students at state universities.
Theoretical framework: The purpose of reviewing theories in the Grounded Theory method is to enhance theoretical sensitivity. Strauss and Corbin have used a variety of techniques (e.g., questioning, the flip-flop technique, far-out comparisons) to enhance researcher sensitivity during analysis. They are emphatic, however, that the ideas generated from the use of these techniques do not constitute more data but “stimulate reflection about the data at hand and provide different ways of knowing the data”.
 Research method: The grounded theory approach of Strauss and Corbin was used in this study. The grounded theory method aims at generating theoretical explanations for the phenomena. This methodology helps to investigate the structure and process of the phenomena. Participants in this study were 15 students. The research participants were Master’s and Ph.D. Baloch students at state universities. An in-depth, open-ended interview was used to collect the data. The purpose of the interviews was to engage in dialogue with participants about the Representation of the Balochi Identity in Mass Media. The main strategy of data analysis using grounded theory is three coding methods; namely, open, axial and selective.
Findings: The result of data analysis is the achievement of sex categories and a core category. The categories are: The unrealistic and negative representation of the Balochi identity in the Seda and Sima and provincial networks, unrealistic representation of Balochi identity, ideological and political management of the otherness of Balochi identity, the stereotyping of the media and the negative attitude of other Iranians toward the Balochi identity constructing a negative habitus of Balochi identity in cinema and cyberspace and a realistic representation of Balochi identity. The core category is negative representation and stereotyping of the Balochi identity in the Seda and Sima and domestic cinema.
Conclusion: According to the findings of the present research, it can be concluded that a negative representation of Balochi identity has been formed in the country's Seda and Sima, and the Baloch identity has been identified with drugs, violence, addiction and insecurity. In the creation and continuation of this negative representation, the media and reference groups, especially Seda and Sima, and national networks have played a major role.
Prominent results: The main achievements and findings of the present research are as follows:
1-     Presentation  of  the paradigm model of  representation of the Balochi identity in mass media
2-     Presentation  of sensitizing scheme about representation of the Balochi identity in mass media and the consequences of this representation