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Communicating Racism

Communicating Racism
Ethnic Prejudice in Thought and Talk

  • Teun A. Van Dijk - Pompeu Fabra University, Spain; Centre of Discourse Studies, Spain

May 1989 | 440 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
How do members of "in" groups talk about minority groups? How does everyday talk contribute to the spread, and acceptance, of ethnic prejudice? These are but two among the many fundamental questions raised in this revealing look at ethnic stereotypes and the way in which they are diffused through interpersonal communication and inter group interactions. By analyzing informal discourse about ethnic minorities, and the reproduction of racism within the white majority, Communicating Racism offers us a new understanding of many deeply rooted and poorly understood patterns of prejudice. In a clearly written and methodologically elegant analysis of conversation as an integral and revealing mirror of human behavior, the author teaches us far- reaching lessons about the cognitive, social, and communicative dimensions of racism. Communicating Racism will be essential reading for a wide variety of social science and humanities professionals and their students, including specialists engaged in the study of discourse, cognition, persuasion, and communication. As a result it will be especially useful as background reading for upper division and graduate courses in linguistics, discourse analysis, cognitive and social psychology, micro sociology, anthropology, speech communication, and ethnic studies. "The most analytically comprehensive and revealing treatment of the social organization of ethnic prejudice to date. . . . van Dijk exposes the subtle means by which ethnic prejudice . . . maintains and sustains social inequality and injustice. . . . A remarkable tour de force of scholarship and social concern." --Thomas Kochman, University of Illinois, Chicago "The research in this book disproves the idea that racism and ethnic prejudice come from a particular geographical, sexual, or socioeconomic group. . . . Van Dijk's work is both carefully documented and dedicated to social change. As such it can remind us of and encourage us in our own battles with racism and other prejudices." --Homiletic "The study . . . has considerable methodological value. Advanced students and mature scholars can further develop the ideas presented. Good bibliography." --Choice "Communicating Racism is an ambitious, well-written, and important coordination of varied methodologies and insights of cognitive studies, discourse analysis, and social psychology; it attempts to explicate the social reproduction of prejudice through ordinary language and everyday speech. . . . A significant contribution to the field." --Contemporary Sociology "Communicating Racism will be of interest to scholars in several fields, particularly those who are concerned with the relationship between racist discourse and the perpetuation of racist ideology. . . . van Dijk has accomplished the difficult task of writing for several audiences without biasing the thesis toward general or technical readers. Both scholars and laymen can gain considerable insight. . . . Discourse analysis is presented as a useful tool . . . [the author] has filled an important gap in the field." --American Journal of Sociology "Thorough. . . . Conveys valuable information about shared social cognitions as the bases of prejudice, a group phenomenm. The most striking point made is that the white elite is the group most responsible for the diffusion of racism through the media." --Readings: A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health "van Dijk has accomplished the difficult task of writing for several audiences without biasing the thesis toward general or technical readers. Both scholars and laymen can gain considerable insight. . . . Linguists, communication scholars, and others interested in the sociology of racist talk will find this. . . . valuable. . . . Quantitative evidence is provided in support of these observations, and clear patterns emerge out of the arrangements repeatedly raised in support of racial prejudice. . . . van Dijk has provided one of the most comprehensive analyses available racist discourse. Indeed, he has filled an important gap in the field of discourse analysis . . . . Communication Racism is one of the most insightful evaluations of the social and cognitive foundations of racism to date." --American Journal of Sociology "An ambitious . . . attempt to build a theory of prejudiced discourse. . . . Refreshingly, [this book] possesses . . . a scholarly as well as social mission. I recommend [it] as supplemental reading for graduate courses." --Quarterly Journal of Speech "The text [has] a sense of relevance and urgency. The book has the great merit of striking a balance between the necessary detachment of the social scientist and the deep human concern of the author trying to understand how ethnic prejudice is reproduced in society." --Semiotica "An ambitious assault on an extremely delicate problem, the everyday expressions of racism among White people." --Contemporary Psychology "Because of the depth and scope of the research, this book makes a significant and important contribution to research on racism and prejudice. . . . Each chapter includes extensive research data to support van Dijk's theories. . . . Sustains the reader's interest throughout, not only because of the topic relevance, but also because it forces the reader to reflect upon his or her language patterns and how they may be sending rascist messages to others. . . . This book is a 'must read' for educators--from preschool teachers to college professors." --Dimensions "This work is very important to both the areas of discourse analysis and interracial/intercultural communication. . . . This work does much to stimulate thought on undeniably important theoretical, methodological, and social concerns. . . . For those interested in the application of interracial and intercultural communication research to communication skills, van Dijk's work has value. . . . As a theoretical work, Communicating Racism also makes a contribution in identifying components of a framework to be utilized and in pulling together some relevant research related to that framework. . . . There is much in Communicating Racism that is useful and much that is important." --International Journal of Intercultural Relations

Structures of Prejudiced Discourse
Sources of Prejudiced Talk
The Cognitive Dimension
Structures and Strategies of Ethnic Prejudice

The Interpersonal Communication of Prejudice
The Social Context of Prejudice

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ISBN: 9780803936270