Race, Gender, Class, and Media: Studying Mass Communication and Multiculturalism

Author(s): Sharon Bramlett Solomon , Meta Carstarphen

Edition: 3

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 410


Details: Electronic Delivery EBOOK | 180 days |


Race, Gender, Class, and Media invites students to explore critical aspects of diversity in media. It introduces students to issues of diversity as represented in the U.S. news, film/television, advertising, and public relations industries. It probes foundations, concepts, and practices in media representation of race, gender, and class in America.

Race, Gender, Class, and Media introduces students to historical context and contemporary perspectives of critical and provocative issues related to media inclusiveness. Ultimately, Race, Gender, Class, and Media promotes and cultivates serious critical thinking about how media impact our lives and our culture, how it references our social identity, and how it influences the ways in which we see others and ourselves.

Organized in a framework that students will find accessible, informative, and engaging, Sharon Bramlett-Solomon and Meta G. Carstarphen’s Race, Gender, Class, and Media:

  • Emphasizes critical thinking as an essential tool for analyzing, understanding, and utilizing media as it probes media influence in how the nation’s diverse populations and cultures are referenced and identified.
  • Provides students with an understanding of media sustenance and learn how to dismantle ideology and values in mediated messages that reinforce and perpetuate societal inequities.
  • Introduces students to media-literacy perspectives and skills that can serve them for a lifetime, skills that become part of a knowledge base upon which to draw every day.
  • Has been updated with new statistics and events, some reorganization of content, fresh examples from popular culture, inserted boxes with focused data points (including key definitions, examples and trend items), bullets and shorter paragraphs to aid reading, and bold key terms and definitions.

Instructor's Guide compiled by Ajia Meux

Ajia Meux is a proud Oakland, California native with over 10 years of experience in community and clinical social work, with particular focus on trauma. Her practice experience includes combat, sexual assault and abuse and domestic violence. Ms. Meux holds an MSW from Howard University and is studying journalism and mass communication at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College. Her area of interest is the convergence of media, race, class and politics and her work has been featured in the Dallas Morning News. She is an adjunct professor at the OU’s Zarrow School of Social Work and a sweet potato pie connoisseur.  

Part I              Foundations and Critical Concepts
Chapter 1     Literacy, Media, and Diverse Audiences

This chapter introduces students to media literacy as a conceptual framework for the critical analysis of media texts that focus on race, gender, and class identity. It discusses how the American mass media shape, reflect, and define the world in which we live and are central to our lives. It focuses on media ubiquity and influence, as well as its impact on American culture, society, and individuals— including what we think about ourselves and people of different racial, ethnic, class and cultural backgrounds.

Chapter 2     Why Study Race, Gender, Class, and Media
This chapter explains why it is essential to understand ways in which media representation of race, gender, and class promotes certain meanings and interpretations that adhere to dominant American ideology. The chapter discusses the nation’s rapidly changing demographics that increasingly create a browner America. It also probes what our increasingly more culturally inclusive society implicates for media institutions and why media must be cognizant of these demographic changes and challenges if they expect, from a business aspect, to survive.

Chapter 3     Media Functions, Theories, and Effects
This chapter introduces students to media theories most often discussed and applied in probing race, gender, and class texts in media. It explores concepts and theories that explain media roles, functions, and impact. It discusses how hegemony, ideology, and stereotypes are conveyed, maintained, and reproduced in media messages. The discussion draws on both empirical and qualitative analyses of media content. Theories discussed include social cognitive, framing, priming, agenda setting, cultivation, identity, and critical race theory.

Part II             The Maintenance of Whiteness and Racial Stereotypes
Chapter 4     Concept and Negotiation of Whiteness

This chapter discusses the construct of race and the concept of “whiteness.” It examines ways in which the makeup of whiteness has been negotiated since the nation’s earliest years. It focuses on how these social constructions, as well as the stereotypes associated with them, interface with the mass media.

Chapter 5     Social Psychology and Maintenance of Stereotypes
This chapter probes the social psychology of how racial stereotypes are supported and perpetuated. It reviews psychological evidence of how we interpret and process mediated messages and ways in which the media can exert powerful influences over the way we see others. It discusses how media-constructed reality may facilitate and encourage stereotypes related to race, gender, and class, as well as how, at times, media can work to debunk stereotypes.

Part III            The Fourth Estate
Chapter 6     American Press and Multiculturalism: Legacy and Changes

This chapter discusses American press representation of race, gender, and class from the nineteenth to twentieth century. It discusses the birth of the nineteenth-century African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, and Native-American press and the societal role of these early newspapers. It examines the origins of press social responsibility and the influence on the press of the 1954 Brown v. Topeka decision. The chapter also probes the press impact of the U.S. racial crisis of the 1960s and examines the enduring influence of the landmark Kerner Commission Report.

Chapter 7     Twenty-First-Century Press and Diversity Issues
This chapter discusses race representation in contemporary news coverage based on qualitative and quantitative examinations of the past two decades. It focuses on major findings in The Kerner Report that still are being addressed as contemporary press issues, including press roles in race relations and press impact on race polarization. It examines race in local television news coverage and news framing and perpetuation of urban pathology. It also looks at the journalism industry workforce diversity and presents a press responsibility and diversity timeline. It concludes with study synopses that focus on race, gender, and class in the American news media.

Part IV           Multiculturalism in American Film and Television
Chapter 8     Class Portrayals in Film and Television

Chapter 9   Latino-American and Asian-American Portrayals
Chapter 10 Native-American and African-American Portrayals
Chapter 11 Gender Portrayals in Film and Television
These four chapters look at class, race, and gender representation in American film and television entertainment, looking at how these various identities are defined and portrayed. It examines ways in which film and television entertainment tells us a lot about our culture and can have significant influence on how we view the world, particularly on how we think about various racial, ethnic, and social groups. It discusses how film and television images contribute to ways in which race, gender, and class identity are understood in society, telling us who we are and where we’ve been.

Part V            Strategic Communications and the Media
Chapter 12  Advertising and Multiculturalism: Marketing the
Content of Our Changing Desires
This chapter examines advertising and multiculturalism, including ways the advertising industry leverages enormous influence upon the content and the character of the media we consume. It discusses the strong influence and financial benefits of advertising, as well as troublesome stereotypes, demeaning texts, and exclusionary industry practices that have been a part of advertising from its earliest times. The chapter concludes with study synopses that address diversity and advertising issues.

Chapter 13   Public Relations: Persuasion and the Diverse Tools of Influence
Taken as a sum of its many parts, the influence of public relations is broad, pervasive, and virtually intrinsic to everything we do. It is at this nexus of power, influence, and media that we examine the challenges of race, gender, and class. This chapter discusses the reality of the profession’s uneven history in its service to the whole of society and its exclusion of viewpoints from diverse segments of society. This chapter reviews some historical developments of public relations, current complexities, and contributing factors to the influence of this field.

Part VI           Women and Media Issues
Chapter 14   Women in the Media: Milestones, Stumbling Blocks, and Finish Lines

This chapter explores part of the history of women in the media, identifying some of the significant leaders in their fields and the ways in which they impacted the media we know today.

Chapter 15  Women and Media: Ideal Beauty Standards and Sexual Objectification
This chapter explores sexual objectification of women in the media and their implications. It explores how social stereotypes about women manifest themselves in the media through images that are maintained, copied, and reproduced across various channels.

Part VII          Internet and Social Media
Chapter 16   Multiculturalism, Sexism, and Online Voices
This chapter discusses diverse access to the Internet and digital media. It explores the digital divide and looks at how the Internet puts consumers in charge of what they choose to see. It also explores ways in which cyber voices, blogospheres, Twitter, Facebook, and other online social media have expanded the marketplace and promoted greater inclusiveness.

Chapter 17   Social Media, Politics, and Community Activism
This chapter also discusses the proliferation and social implications of social media and the rising number of alternative voices. It focuses on how the expansion of Internet access via broadband and cell phone usage is transforming civic engagement. It discusses the role of social media in the historic 2008 election of the nation’s first African-American president, as well as in the 2012 presidential election. It notes, however, that while the World Wide Web has resulted in greater race, gender, class, and cultural voices in the marketplace, the Internet also has opened its doors to the organization and perpetuation of more political polarization.

Part VIII         Challenging and Provocative Issues
1 through 9 give further attention to some of the literature’s most critical, provocative, and challenging issues pertaining to media representation of race, gender, and class. Instructors can assign these issues in conjunction with earlier chapters or individually. Instructors may want, for example, to assign The Kerner Report: The News Media and the Disorders as supplementary reading for chapters in “The Fourth Estate” section (Part III) or “Colorism in Media and Society” may supplement the “Women and Media” section (Part VI). A chapter is included on each of the topics below:

Issue 1       Dynamics of Class and News
Issue 2       Colorism in Media and Society
Issue 3       Whiteness and the Performance of White Privilege
Issue 4       Native American Media: Battlig Stereotypes in TV, Film, and Online
Issue 5       The Kerner Report: The News Media and the Disorders
Issue 6       The Rise and Evolution of Hip-Hop Culture
Issue 7       Crime, Media, and the Appearance of Justice
Issue 8       Virtual Identity: Race and Gender in Video Games
Issue 9       LGBT in the Media: A Rainbow of New Representation
Issue 10     Unmasked: Race and Gender in Superhero Media


Sharon Bramlett Solomon

Sharon Bramlett-Solomon is an associate professor in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University where she also holds appointment as past Lincoln Center of Applied Ethics Professor of Media and Culture. She has received numerous teaching, research, and service award recognitions. Her professional background includes years in newspapers, public relations, and radio, including reporting for the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Her research focuses on audience effects of race representation in U.S. media. She has presented and published more than 100 scholarly papers in this area, as well as articles on media and aging and online news diffusion. Her articles have appeared in numerous prominent scholarly journals, including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Newspaper Research Journal, Southwestern Journal of Communication, Mass Communication & Society, the Howard Journal of Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, and the Journal of Children and Media. In addition to numerous published book chapters, her articles have appeared in many popular magazines and newspapers. She is a recipient of the Barry Bingham Fellowship from the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation awarded annually to a journalism educator dedicated to advancing diversity in college-journalism education. She is also recipient of the Professor the Year Award from the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Sharon was recently named one of  10 “Noteworthy Journalism Educators” in Crain’s “News Pro” magazine as nominated by members of RTNDA, SEJ and BEA.


Meta Carstarphen

Meta G. Carstarphen, Ph.D., APR is a former graduate director and associate dean for Gaylord College. She currently holds a Gaylord Professorship in Strategic Communication and teaches public relations at the University of Oklahoma in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Communication. In 2017, she assumed the editorship of the Communication Booknotes Quarterly, a journal review of books on all aspects of mediated and applied communication fields. In 2012, she received the OU Regents Award for Professional and University Service in recognition of her contributions to national, local, and university communities. Her research interests include rhetorical constructions of racial identity, gender portrayals, ethnic representations in media and mass communication history, and the social constructs of strategic communication. She has shared her research in numerous refereed publications and book chapters, as well as in conference presentations and workshops to international audiences. Among her more recent works are the October 2017 special section in Rhetoric Review journal, entitled “Rhetoric, Race and Resentment: The New Days of Rage.”

Specializing in non-corporate public relations, she has served as the assistant Public Affairs Officer for the Federal Aviation Administration’s southwest regional bureau in Ft. Worth, Texas. With professional experience in public relations and journalism, she has consulted on topics related to community relations, nonprofit public relations, and cross-cultural integrated communication. Awarded the first Gaylord family professorship in 2005, Carstarphen’s resulting research explored the narratives, rhetoric, and history of Oklahoma’s first American-Indian and African-American newspapers.

Carstarphen has taught many courses, including race, gender, (class), and the media; public relations campaigns; public relations case studies; principles of public relations; and public relations writing. Her research interests include rhetoric and media, race/gender/class and the media, and media cultural studies. An award-winning magazine author, her books include Sexual Rhetoric: Media Perspectives on Sexuality, Gender and Identity, (Greenwood), Writing PR: A Multimedia Approach (Allyn & Bacon), and American Indians and the Mass Media (University of Oklahoma Press).

LinkedIn: Meta G. Carstarphen, Ph.D., APR, Facebook: DrMeta G Carstarphen, Twitter: DrMCar.


Race, Gender, Class, and Media: Studying Mass Communication and Multiculturalism is very comprehensive as the authors embrace a broader concept of multiculturalism, including racial, ethnic, gender and class representation in media content, and diversity in news and communication industries.
Masudul Biswas, PhD
Assistant Professor of Communication/Journalism
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

I enjoyed Race, Gender, Class, and Media — it is well written, clear and informative….Overall, this is a very good book. The book’s conversational style should be well received by students. It is clearly organized and the authors use an appropriate level of diction.
Dr. Lisa K. Hanasono
Assistant Professor of Communication
Bowling Green State University

Related ISBN's: 9781524944995, 9781524909888




ISBN 9781524944995

Details Electronic Delivery EBOOK 180 days