African American Communication: Exploring Identity and Culture, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

African American Communication

Exploring Identity and Culture, 2nd Edition

By Michael L. Hecht, Michael L. Hecht, Ronald L. Jackson, Sidney A. Ribeau


344 pages

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What communicative experiences are particular to African Americans? How do many African Americans define themselves culturally? How do they perceive intracultural and intercultural communication? These questions are answered in this second edition of African American Communication: Exploring Identity and Culture. Informing multiple audiences interested in African American culture, from cultural researchers and practitioners to educators, policymakers, and community leaders, this innovative and invaluable resource examines the richness and depth of African American communication norms and patterns, as well as African American identities. Positive and healthy African American identities are centrally positioned throughout the book.

Applying the cultural contracts theory and the communication theory of identity, authors Michael L. Hecht, Ronald L. Jackson II, and Sidney A. Ribeau explore relationships among African Americans, as well as between African Americans and European Americans, while highlighting the need for sensitivity to issues of power when discussing race, ethnicity, and culture. This wide-ranging volume provides an extensive review of the relevant literature and offers recommendations designed to encourage understanding of African American communication in a context extending beyond Eurocentric paradigms.

Considering African American identity with a communicative, linguistic, and relational focus, this volume:

*Defines African American identities by describing related terms, such as self, self-concept, personhood and identity;

*Explores Afrocentricity and African American discourse;

*Examines the status of African Americans in the United States using census statistics and national studies from other research agencies;

*Considers identity negotiation and competence; and

*Features a full chapter on African American relationships, including gendered, familial, intimate, adolescent and adult, homosexual, friendship, communal, and workplace relationships.

African American Communication: Exploring Identity and Culture begins an important dialogue in the communication discipline, intercultural studies, African American studies and other fields concerned with the centrality of culture and communication as it relates to human behavior. It is intended for advanced students and scholars in intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, communication theory, African American/Black studies, social psychology, sociolinguistics, education, and family studies.


"This second edition of African American Communication is a compelling continuation of the first, with the notable addition of two innovative theoretical perspectives on communication and identity. The authors offer comprehensive descriptions and analyses of how African Americans enact and negotiate identities across a wide range of relationships and contexts. Moreover, the volume is a veritable gold mine of resources and ideas for future research."

Brenda Allen

Department of Psychology, Smith College

"This book offers the most thorough treatment of African American communication in the field. It is theoretically and conceptually strong, and offers experiential evidence from the everyday lives of African Americans to help make existing research 'come alive' for readers. A must for any scholar seeking expertise in the area!"

Mark Orbe

Western Michigan University

Table of Contents



Self, Identity, Cultural Identity, and African American Cultural Identity.

Communication Competence.

African American Language and Communication Styles.

African American Relationships and Cultural Identity Negotiation.


About the Series

Routledge Communication Series

The Routledge Communication Series covers the breadth of the communication discipline, from interpersonal communication to public relations, offering textbooks, handbooks, and scholarly reference materials.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies