Not Our Future: An Exploration of Pacific Cultural Identity Through Targeted Television Health Advertising
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This research study investigates how Pacific Peoples of New Zealand perceive and interpret their cultural identity through targeted television health messages and advertising. These health messages which portray Pacific Peoples are sponsored by the New Zealand Government and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). A brief review of past and current significant literature regarding representation of people of colour on television, and specifically television advertising, is provided. The discussion then highlights the results extracted from the various data sets and the findings which emerged through the utilisation of a thematic framework of analysis. Findings emerging from the data sets include that Pacific Peoples interpret their cultural identity as being portrayed in stereotypes and harmful caricatures; Pacific Peoples feel they are often unfairly grouped with Maori individuals within health messages; and that the most positive interpretation of their identity is through real-life narratives represented within health messages. The discussion further offers recommendations, especially for individuals who produce these health messages. Future recommendations include that Government and NGOs need to feature real-life stories in order to open the channel of communication with Pacific Peoples; representations of Pacific Peoples within these targeted advertisements should be diversified; and the reliance on stereotypes to convey health messages should be removed.