COMM 144: Communication Studies – Race and Ethnicity

Teaching Demonstration, Grossmont College.

Objective – Discuss Mediated Interpersonal Communication and its relevance to effective interracial and interethnic interaction.

Step 1. Introduction to Racial Formation.
  • This discussion presumes preparatory instruction on the topics of race and ethnicity. Reading and video material assigned earlier in the course that introduces the sociological work on Racial Formation Theory by Omi and Winant:
    • Reading –
      • Winant (2000). Chapter 13. The Theoretical Status of the Concept of Race. In Back & Solomos (Eds.), Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader. New York: Routledge.
    • Video #1 – Racial Formation Theory, <>.
    • Video #2 – Racial Formation Theory, <>.
Step 2. Introduction to Mediated Interpersonal Communication.
  • Reading –
    • Adler, R. B., Rosenfeld, L. B., &amp; Proctor, R. F. (2021). Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication. Oxford University Press.
      • Chapter 2. Mediated Interpersonal Communication.
      • Chapter 3. Culture and Interpersonal Communication.
  • In-class small group activity –
    • Students are divided into small groups (3 per group) and assigned a specific Google Drive folder containing several social media advertisements directed at a range of racial, ethnic, and sociocultural identities.
    • Students open the Google Jamboard file for the activity. Click here to see an example of my student’s work. Here are the instructions:
      • “As a group, do a 30-minute analysis of the 20 media artifacts in your assigned folder. The idea is to think about exogenous aspects of these media artifacts that are not visible within the text itself but are still essential to any substantive assessment of the text. As a group, think about the following:
        • 1) Start by briefly describing the content of the Google Drive folder for this activity and sharing the names of the social media accounts. Select 5 of the most interesting ads to display within this Jamboard file.
        • 2) Describe to the class 1-2 of the advertisements you included in this Jamboard.
        • 3) Identify the most probable source of the content & the intended audience. What does this collection of media artifacts say about race and ethnicity? Do these media artifacts reinforce or disrupt non-mediated forms of interpersonal communication and identity formation?
        • 4) Drawing from your group analysis, briefly assess (in 3-5 sentences) the probable implications on race and ethnic relations in U.S. political culture from the targeted mass circulation of these media artifacts. Establish a connection to at least one key idea from the assigned reading.”
    • Each group presents their conclusions to the class.
Step 3. The Limits of Mediated Interpersonal Communication.
  • Discuss Mediated Interpersonal Communication and how it relates to misinformation, misrepresentation, and cultural balkanization.
  • Discuss race and ethnicity as experiential, not rooted primarily in cultural paraphernalia, but collective and historical shared experiences.
Thank You!
  • For more information about my pedagogical background and practices, please see my Teaching Statement.
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