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Television and the Canadian Inuit

Television and the Canadian Inuit
Pages: 7 - 18
Auteur(s) / Author(s): Nelson H. H. Graburn
Résumé:

Dans l'Arctique canadien où les programmes du Sud sont devenus accessibles en 1972 avec le satellite Anik, la quasi totalité des villages a accepté la télévision. Dans une société de tradition orale, on pouvait prévoir un impact très fort de ce nouveau médium, largement comparable à celui que la télévision a eu au Canada et aux États-Unis, notamment dans la perception et l'organisation du temps et dans la vie familiale. Avec des programmes presqu'exclusivement en anglais et au contenu culturel défini dans le Sud, on note cependant des effets différents selon les générations, les jeunes étant particulièrement influencés. Il s'agit en définitive d'un véritable instrument d'assimilation en douceur et donc d'ethnocide qui renforce aussi l'adoption de l'anglais comme langue première. On discutera en conclusion les récentes tentatives d'introduire davantage d'émissions en inuktitut et les possibilités que les Inuit ont de contrôler la télévision comme consommateurs et comme producteurs.

 

Abstract:

In the Canadian Arctic where southern television programmes have been available by the Anik satellite system since 1972, almost every village has accepted the magic box. In a society where the oral tradition is dominant, it could be predicted that this new medium would have an impact at least comparable to that that television has had in the rest of Canada and in the United States. The effect of television would be most strikingly felt in the perception and in the organization of time and family life it could be hypothized. With almost exclusively English programming of which the cultural content is entirely determined in the south, the impact of television has been markedly age specific, with youth being most profoundly influenced. In the final analysis, television in the Arctic not only reinforces the use of English as a first language, but also it has become an instrument for slow assimilation and hence for cultural ethnocide. Recent attempts to respond to this challenge such as the use of the Inuktitut language and the direct control of television by Inuit, both as consumers and producers, are discussed in the article's conclusions.