Communication, Race, and Family: Exploring Communication in Black, White, and Biracial Families

Communication, Race, and Family: Exploring Communication in Black, White, and Biracial Families

Communication, Race, and Family: Exploring Communication in Black, White, and Biracial Families

Communication, Race, and Family: Exploring Communication in Black, White, and Biracial Families

Synopsis

This groundbreaking volume explores how family communication influences the perennial and controversial topic of race. In assembling this collection, editors Thomas J. Socha and Rhunette C. Diggs argue that the hope for managing America's troubles with "race" lies not only with communicating about race at public meetings, in school, and in the media, but also--and more fundamentally--with families communicating constructively about race at home.

African-American and European-American family communication researchers come together in this volume to investigate such topics as how Black families communicate to manage the issue of racism; how Black parent-child communication is used to manage the derogation of Black children; the role of television in family communication about race; the similarities and differences between and among communication in Black, White, and biracial couples and families; and how family communication education can contribute to a brighter future for all. With the aim of developing a clearer understanding of the role that family communication plays in society's move toward a multicultural world, this volume provides a crucial examination of how families struggle with issues of ethnic cultural diversity.

Excerpt

Molefi Kete Asante Temple University

Communication, Race, and Family: Exploring Communication in Black, White, and Biracial Families focuses on the communicative situations that develop in the context of the family, the foundational institution for our racial views and perspectives. Now that communicationists have entered the intellectual discussion on the different kinds of families and their varying communicative and social modalities around the issue of race, the discourse is sure to be richer and deeper. After all, it is through communication that all of our social values and behaviors are initiated and validated. Sociologists have been the primary researchers in this area for several decades and to some observers their work often has been completely linear. No scholarly discipline can monopolize the study of race, as the recent forays into the discussion by political scientists, Afrocentrists, and philosophers have shown. With this volume we have a very real advance into the area of family communication, race relations, and racism.

A few years ago the sociologist John Stanfield decried what he described as a lock on the study of race by the logical positivists. According to Stanfield, there was a lack of critical reflection about methodology in matters dealing with race and ethnicity (Stanfield &Rutledge, 1993). Although his concern was with ideologically determined and biased productions of knowledge, in the end he succumbed to asking authors in his book to lay out the parameters of traditional methods and ways to improve them. What Thomas Socha and Rhunette Diggs have attempted in Communication, Race, and Family: Exploring Communication in Black, White, and Biracial Families is to extend and deepen the critical reflection on the communication of race and its methodology. the authors chosen for the volume have made every attempt to advance the idea that communication matters even if race does not in some specific instances matter as much. They are on the cutting edge not simply of the study of race, but also of the study of communication.

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