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Interracial Communication

Interracial Communication
Theory Into Practice

Third Edition

© 2015 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This Third Edition of Interracial Communication: Theory Into Practice guides readers in applying the contributions of recent communication theory to improving everyday communication among the races. Authors Mark P. Orbe and Tina M. Harris offer a comprehensive, practical foundation for dialogue on interracial communication, as well as a resource that stimulates thinking and encourages readers to become active participants in dialogue across racial barriers. Part I provides a foundation for studying interracial communication and includes chapters on the history of race and racial categories, the importance of language, the development of racial and cultural identities, and current and classical theoretical approaches. Part II applies this information to interracial communication practices in specific, everyday contexts, including friendships, romantic relationships, the mass media, and organizational, public, and group settings. This Third Edition includes the latest data, new research studies and examples, all-new photos, and important new topics.
Part I: Foundations for Interracial Communication Theory and Practice
1. Studying Interracial Communication
2. The History of Race
3. The Power of Verbal and Nonverbal Codes
4. Racial and Ethnic Identity Negotiation
5. Intersectionality of Identities
6. Theoretical Approaches to Studying Interracial Communication
Part II: Interracial Communication in Specific Contexts
7. Racial Hierarchies as International Communication Phenomena
8. Friendships and Romantic Relationships
9. Interracial Communication in the Workplace
10. Interracial Conflict
11. Race/Ethnicity and the Mass Media
12. Moving From the Theoretical to the Practical
About the Authors


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Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • A Microsoft® Word test bank, [written by author name, if author-created] is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • A Respondus electronic test bank, [written by test bank author name, if author-created] is available and can be used on PCs. The test bank contains multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter and provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. Respondus is also compatible with many popular learning management systems so you can easily get your test questions into your online course.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. Highlight essential content, features, and artwork from the book.
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
  • Lively and stimulating ideas for class activities that can be used in class to reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects.
  • Additional readings provide a jumping-off point for course assignments, papers, research, group work, and class discussion.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content. 

“A very unique and excellent read on not only intercultural communication, but also the vernacular surrounding race and ethnicity.”

Daniel Hodge
Azusa Pacific University

Excellent, book - provides essential inside of the communication challenges within socity.

Mrs Petra Chipperfield
Department of Adult Nursing, City University
February 24, 2015

This is a practical and comprehensive book on interracial communication that is thought provoking. I liked the way that it applys theory to practice and stimulates discussion.

Angela Rowlands
Centre for Medical Education, Queen Mary, University of London
February 27, 2014
Key features


  • The book covers the impact of President Obama on U.S. understanding of race and race relations and multiracial identity and introduces the concept of a “post-racial” society.
  • A new Chapter 7 on race in the global context recognizes the impact of globalization on race and racism in the United States and around the world, focusing on colorism or skin color bias within microcultural groups.
  • A new chapter on interracial relationships covers interracial friendships and interracial romantic relationship (previously covered in separate chapters).
  • New case studies, based on current news stories, have been added to introduce each chapter.
  • Updated examples, boxed features, end-of-chapter activities, research studies, and statistics (including the latest census data) bring the content thoroughly up to date.
  • New photos have been added to each chapter, along with numerous additional tables and figures.
  • Hundreds of new references—most from 2010 to the present—help contextualize key concepts through current research and theorizing.


  • All predominant U.S. races are addressed, including African Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, Latino/a Americans, and Native Americans, in addition to multiracial Americans.
  • Case Studies, Personal Reflections, Student Reflections, Theory Into Practice boxes, and Opportunities for Extended Learning bring chapter concepts to life and help students better engage with chapter content.
  • Current statistics, research studies, and examples throughout the book reflect the state of study in a post-9/11 society, including increased coverage of Middle Eastern Americans.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

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