It is incumbent on scholars of political communication to better represent issues of race, representation, diversity and prejudice in our syllabi. This already happens in courses that focus on these issues; but it can also happen by incorporating this research into more general courses. A survey class in political communication, or media effects, or media psychology, or mobile technology, or social science methods — all of these classes can highlight long-standing and highly salient literatures on race, representation, diversity and prejudice.
As of summer 2020 many of us are revising syllabi for the fall term. In order to make it easy to better represent issues related to race, we have put together a list of some of our favorite readings on a few of the major themes in political communication classes. We focus here on (a) social-scientific research in communication that deals with (b) issues of race in the US and that (c) can fit easily in undergraduate courses on broader themes in communication.
With these objectives in mind, our preliminary list of syllabus-ready readings follows, organized by theme. We divide readings into News Media, Entertainment Media and Social Media, and cover Content and then Effects for each. Our suggestions represent just a small selection of the excellent work in these areas, of course. If you would like to contribute to this list, you should! Click HERE to enter your citations in a Google form. (Please don’t hesitate to highlight your own relevant work.) The spreadsheet of additional readings at the bottom of this page is updated automatically with your suggestions.
We hope these lists are useful as you develop your syllabi. Sincerely, (first draft contributors) Sarah Bachleda Fiorini, Sydney Carr, Stewart Coles, Dan Hiaeshutter-Rice, Guadalupe Madrigal, Gavin Ploger, Muniba Saleem and Stuart Soroka. (Last update: June 11 2020.)
Race & News Media: Content
- Dixon, T. L., Azocar, C. L., & Casas, M. (2003). The Portrayal of Race and Crime on Television Network News. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 47(4), 498–523.
- Dixon, T. L., & Williams, C. L. (2015). The changing misrepresentation of race and crime on network and cable news. Journal of Communication, 65(1), 24-39.
- Gershon, S. (2012). When Race, Gender, and the Media Intersect: Campaign News Coverage of Minority Congresswomen. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, 33(2), 105–125.
- Kahle, S., Yu, N., & Whiteside, E. (2007). Another Disaster: An examination of portrayals of race in Hurricane Katrina coverage. Visual Communication Quarterly, 14(2), 75–89.
- Poindexter, P. M., Smith, L., & Heider, D. (2003). Race and Ethnicity in local Television News: Framing, Story Assignments, and Source Selections. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 47(4), 524–536.
- Sommers, S. R., Apfelbaum, E. P., Dukes, K. N., Toosi, N., & Wang, E. J. (2006). Race and Media Coverage of Hurricane Katrina: Analysis, Implications, and Future Research Questions. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 6(1), 39–55.
- Zeldes, G. A., & Fico, F. (2005). Race and Gender: An Analysis of Sources and Reporters in the Networks’ Coverage of the 2000 Presidential Campaign. Mass Communication and Society, 8(4), 373–385.
Race & News Media: Effects
- Appel, M., & Weber, S. (2017). Do mass mediated stereotypes harm members of negatively stereotyped groups? A meta-analytical review on media-generated stereotype threat and stereotype lift. Communication Research
- Appiah, O., Knobloch-Westerwick, S., & Alter, S. (2013). Ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation: Effects of news valence, character race, and recipient race on selective news reading. Journal of Communication, 63(3), 517-534.
- Dixon, T. L., & Maddox, K. B. (2005). Skin tone, crime news, and social reality judgments: Priming the stereotype of the dark and dangerous Black criminal. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(8), 1555–1570.
- Gilens, M. (1996). Race and Poverty in America: Public Misperceptions and the American News Media. Public Opinion Quarterly, 515–541.
- Holt, L. F. (2018). Using the Elaboration Likelihood Model to explain to whom “#Black Lives Matter” … and to whom it does not. Journalism Practice, 12(2), 146–161.
- Holt, L. F., Ellithorpe, M. E. & Ralston, R. (2016). So Why Do You Think That Way?: Examining the Role Implicit Attitudes and Motivation Play in Audience’s Perception of a Racially Charged Issue. Media Psychology, 4(20), 584 – 606.
- Mastro, D., & Tukachinsky, R. (2011). The Influence of Exemplar versus Prototype-Based Media Primes on Racial/Ethnic Evaluations. Journal of Communication, 61(5), 916–937.
- Peffley, M., Shields, T., & Williams, B. (1996). The intersection of race and crime in television news stories: An experimental study. Political Communication, 13(3), 309–327.
- Ramasubramanian, S. (2007). Media-based Strategies to Reduce Racial Stereotypes Activated by News Stories. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 84(2), 249–264.
- Reinka, M. A., & Leach, C. W. (2017). Race and reaction: Divergent views of police violence and protest against. Journal of Social Issues, 73(4), 768–788.
- Saleem, M., Prot, S., Anderson, C.A., & Lemieux, A. (2017). Exposure to Muslims in Media and Support for Aggressive Public Policies: The Mediating Role of Aggressive Perceptions. Communication Research, 44 (6), 841-869.
- Saleem, M., Wojcieszak, M., Hawkins, I., Miao, L., & Ramasubramanian, S. (2019). Social Identity Threats: How Media and Discrimination Affect Muslim Americans’ Identification as Americans and Trust in the U.S. Government. Journal of Communication, 69 (2), 214-236.
- Valentino, N. A., Brader, T., & Jardina, A. E. (2013). Immigration Opposition Among U.S. Whites: General Ethnocentrism or Media Priming of Attitudes About Latinos? Political Psychology, 34(2), 149–166.
- Valentino, N. A., Hutchings, V. L. & White, I. K. (2002). Cues That Matter: How Political Ads Prime Racial Attitudes during Campaigns. The American Political Science Review, 96(1), 75 – 90.
Race & Entertainment Media: Content
- Mastro, D. E., & Stern, S. R. (2003). Representations of Race in Television Commercials: A Content Analysis of Prime-Time Advertising. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 47(4), 638–647.
- Oliver, M. B. (1994). Portrayals of crime, race, and aggression in “reality‐based” police shows: A content analysis. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 38(2), 179–192.
- Tukachinsky, R., Mastro, D., & Yarchi, M. (2015). Documenting Portrayals of Race/Ethnicity on Primetime Television over a 20-Year Span and Their Association with National-Level Racial/Ethnic Attitudes. Journal of Social Issues, 71(1), 17–38.
- Williams, D., Martins, N., Consalvo, M., & Ivory, J. D. (2009). The virtual census: Representations of gender, race and age in video games. New Media & Society, 11(5), 815–834.
Race & Entertainment Media: Effects
- Ball-Rokeach, S. J., Grube, J. W., & Rokeach, M. (1981). “Roots: The Next Generation”—Who Watched and with What Effect? Public Opinion Quarterly, 45(1), 58–68.
- Brigham, J. C., & Giesbrecht, L. W. (1976). “All in the Family”: Racial Attitudes. Journal of Communication, 26(4), 69–74.
- Donovan, K. M., & Klahm, C. F., IV. (2015). The role of entertainment media in perceptions of police use of force. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42(12), 1261–1281.
- Eschholz, S., Blackwell, B. S., Gertz, M., & Chiricos, T. (2002). Race and attitudes toward the police: Assessing the effects of watching “reality” police programs. Journal of Criminal Justice, 30(4), 327–341.
- Markey, P. M., Ivory, J. D., Slotter, E. B., Oliver, M. B., & Maglalang, O. (2019). He Does Not Look Like Video Games Made Him Do It: Racial Stereotypes and School Shootings. Psychology of Popular Media Culture.
- Oliver, M. B. (1996). Influences of authoritarianism and portrayals of race on Caucasian viewers’ responses to reality‐based crime dramas. Communication Reports, 9(2), 141–150.
- Surlin, S. H., & Tate, E. D. (1976). “All in the Family”: Is Archie Funny? Journal of Communication, 26(4), 61–68.
Race & Social Media: Content
- Freelon, D., McIlwain, C. & Clark, M. (2016). Quantifying the power of social media protest. New Media & Society, 20(3), 990 – 1011.
- Jackson, S. J., & Foucault Welles, B. (2015). Hijacking #myNYPD: Social media dissent and networked counterpublics. Journal of Communication, 65(6), 932–952.
- Jackson, S. J., & Foucault Welles, B. (2016). #Ferguson is everywhere: Initiators in emerging counterpublic networks. Information, Communication & Society, 19(3), 397–418.
Race & Social Media: Effects
- Lane, D. S., Coles, S. M., & Saleem, M. (2019). Solidarity effects in social movement messaging: How cueing dominant group identity can increase movement support. Human Communication Research, 45(1), 1–26.
- Bigman, C. A., Smith, M. A., Williamson, L. D., Planey, A. M., & Smith, S. M. (2019). Selective sharing on social media: Examining the effects of disparate racial impact frames on intentions to retransmit news stories among US college students. New Media & Society, 21(11-12), 2691–2709.
- Munger, K. (2017). Tweetment effects on the tweeted: Experimentally reducing racist harassment. Political Behavior, 39(3), 629-649.