Synopses & Reviews
This book represents an ambitious and admirable attempt to portray 'how African Americans define themselves and membership in their group and how they perceive intra- and interethnic communication.' Given the paucity of comprehensive treatments of this topic, such an effort is long overdue. . . . It paves the way for future research by contextualizing African American culture and by delineating several salient issues that researchers must address (e.g., ethnic identity). The authors proffer and provoke a wealth of researchable questions. They also provide ideas and insight for conducting investigations of African American communication. Moreover, the book contains an impressive, if not unparalleled, bibliography that will be a gold mine for anyone interested in studying African Americans or members of other U.S. co-cultures. I also must note that the authors treat the topic of African American communication with sensitivity, respect, and appreciation. . . . Hecht et al. frequently note that their book is just a beginning. In my opinion, that beginning is quite auspicious. --The Howard Journal of Communications Offers a detailed consideration of various perspectives on the concept of identity, moving from the more general notions of self-concept and identity to the more specific notions of ethnic identity and then African American identity. . . . Given the authors' view of communication as inherently problematic, their focus on communication improvement strategies makes a good deal of sense. . . . This book makes a noteworthy contribution . . . one that, as the authors themselves conclude, should be followed by others, which would work toward both expanding and revising the frameworkhere developed. --Language, Culture, and Curriculum Hecht, Collier & Ribeau have composed a very well-written, comprehensive volume confronting one of the most provocative issues of human communication - identity, specifically the characterization of the communication of African Americans. The empirical stance (interpretive) this book adopts, accompanied by its conceptual insight make it one of the most valuable publications in intercultural communication. Overall, this book is necessary reading for any community of scholars interested in identity, ethnicity, and communication. It stands alone as a fascinating think-piece regarding African American communication. It is monumental simply because it is the first of its kind. As in interculturalist interested in issues of African American identity, I readliy recommend African American Communication as a necessary addition to the library of any committed cultural scholar. --Ronald L. Jackson, II, Xavier University How do African Americans define themselves? How do they define membership in their group? And how do they perceive intraethnic and interethnic communication? Are African American communication and culture separable, or is communication always dependent on the culture that frames it? Based on a cultural studies approach, this book addresses these questions by synthesizing research on African American culture, ethnic identity, and effective and ineffective communication patterns. The authors explore African American relationships with members of their own culture as well as with white Americans. Additionally, they highlight the need for cultural sensitivity by linking the framework of ethnic identity with communication competenceresearch. Readers become particularly sensitized to cultural variation, rather than normative or typical behavior within an ethnic group. This volume includes an extensive review of existing literature and offers recommendations designed to assist in the understanding of African American communication in a context that extends beyond the Eurocentric paradigm. African American Communication is an innovative interdisciplinary resource for intercultural researchers and advanced graduate and undergraduate students in communication, economics, political science, sociology, linguistics, psychology, education, anthropology, and cultural and ethnic studies.
Based on a cultural studies approach, this book synthesizes research on African American culture, ethnic identity, and effective and ineffective communication patterns. African American relationships are explored, both with members of their own culture and with white Americans. The authors highlight the need for cultural sensitivity by linking the framework of ethnic identity with communication competence research. This book will be a valuable interdisciplinary resource, particularly for intercultural researchers and students of communication.