African American Communication: Exploring Identity and Culture

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L. Erlbaum Associates, 2003 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 321 pages
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What communicative experiences are particular to African Americans? How do many African Americans define themselves culturally? How do they perceive intracultural and intercultural communication? These questions are answered in this second edition of African American Communication: Exploring Identity and Culture. Informing multiple audiences interested in African American culture, from cultural researchers and practitioners to educators, policymakers, and community leaders, this innovative and invaluable resource examines the richness and depth of African American communication norms and patterns, as well as African American identities. Positive and healthy African American identities are centrally positioned throughout the book.

Applying the cultural contracts theory and the communication theory of identity, authors Michael L. Hecht, Ronald L. Jackson II, and Sidney A. Ribeau explore relationships among African Americans, as well as between African Americans and European Americans, while highlighting the need for sensitivity to issues of power when discussing race, ethnicity, and culture. This wide-ranging volume provides an extensive review of the relevant literature and offers recommendations designed to encourage understanding of African American communication in a context extending beyond Eurocentric paradigms.

Considering African American identity with a communicative, linguistic, and relational focus, this volume:
*Defines African American identities by describing related terms, such as self, self-concept, personhood and identity;
*Explores Afrocentricity and African American discourse;
*Examines the status of African Americans in the United States using census statistics and national studies from other research agencies;
*Considers identity negotiation and competence; and
*Features a full chapter on African American relationships, including gendered, familial, intimate, adolescent and adult, homosexual, friendship, communal, and workplace relationships.

African American Communication: Exploring Identity and Culture begins an important dialogue in the communication discipline, intercultural studies, African American studies and other fields concerned with the centrality of culture and communication as it relates to human behavior. It is intended for advanced students and scholars in intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, communication theory, African American/Black studies, social psychology, sociolinguistics, education, and family studies.

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About the author (2003)

Hecht received his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois. He is a Professor of Communication and the Director of the Communication Research Consortium at Arizona State University.

Ronald L. Jackson II (Ph. D., Howard University) is Associate Professor of Culture and Communication Theory in the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. He is author of The Negotiation of Cultural Identity (Praeger Press), Think About It! (Iuniverse.com), African American Communication: Identity and Culture (with Michael Hecht and Sidney Ribeau; Erlbaum Publishers). Forthcoming are five books entitled: African American Rhetorics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (with Elaine Richardson; Southern Illinois University Press); Scripting the Black Masculine Body in Popular Media: Identity, Discourse and Racial Politics in Popular Media (SUNY Press), Essential Readings in African American Communication Studies and Understanding African American Rhetoric (with Elaine Richardson). Dr. Jackson s theory work includes the development of two paradigms coined cultural contracts theory and "black masculine identity theory.

Ribeau is Speech Communication Professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State Polythechnic University, Pomona. He is the former Chair of the Pan-African Studies Department at California State University, Los Angeles, and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at California State University, San Bernardino.

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