Communication Realities in a Post-Racial Society
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Communication Realities in a Post-Racial Society : What the U.S. Public Really Thinks of President Barack Obama

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Drawing from a large national qualitative data set generated by 333 diverse participants from 12 different states across 6 U.S. regions, Mark P. Orbe offers a comprehensive look into public perceptions of Barack Obama's communication style, race matters, and the role of the media in 21st century politics. The book is the first of its kind and provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the similarities and differences that exist among diverse groups of everyday U.S. Americans.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 252 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 498.95g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739169904
  • 9780739169902

About Mark P. Orbe

Mark P. Orbe is professor of communication and diversity at Western Michigan University.show more

Review quote

Orbe (Western Michigan Univ.) argues that the Obama presidency has forever altered the way communication and diversity are discussed in America, but the discussion is still often about race. His meticulous research reveals how the public's attitudes about President Obama's communication style affect perceptions of his temperament and leadership ability. Orbe's data are drawn from interviews with 300-plus participants from 12 states; one facet of the book that provides great interest--too rare in scholarly efforts--is extensive excerpts from these interviews with a variety of people. At the center of the book are four chapters on the role of race in a "post-racial" society. While conducting his research, rather than asking questions about race he allowed his focus groups to bring up the issue of race independently, an excellent strategy. Orbe argues in his concluding chapter that race continues to make a difference in people's perceptions of Obama, and that a "post-racial" society has not yet eventuated. The work is the latest in the "Lexington Studies in Political Communication" series edited by Robert E. Denton, Jr. Summing Up: Recommended. CHOICE "This is an important book for anyone who cares about U.S. politics or race. Orbe's thorough research reveals important patterns in people's feelings about President Obama. The book suggests that people may disagree about whether we are or should be post-racial because they disagree about whether we are post-racist. Orbe's book is simultaneously entertaining and thought provoking." -- Frank Rudy Cooper, Suffolk University Law School "Communication Realities compellingly showcases Mark Orbe's scholarly command of these issues, reflecting his distinguished career as a scholar devoted to the study of communication and diversity. Orbe presents findings and insights that deepen our understanding of how people perceive the communication competency and temperament of President Obama, especially in regards to racial issues, and discusses the implications and consequences that attend to these public perceptions. What emerges is a set of realities about race that is complex and nuanced, and will certainly enrich our understanding of race and communication in our ever evolving society." -- Amardo Rodriguez, Syracuse University "Orbe has executed an ambitious project, undertaken with extreme care and attention to the personal and political facets of Obama's impact on people every day. This book sets a tone and a standard for future research, and provides the kind of intimate details we need to get beyond polls and punditry. A must-read for anyone concerned about how we communicate about race in the Obama Era." -- Catherine R. Squires, University of Minnesotashow more

Table of contents

I: Introduction Chapter 1: Barack Obama, Communication, and Race Chapter 2: Describing the Study II. Barack Obama as Communicator Chapter 3: Perceptions of Barack Obama's Communication Style Chapter 4: Shifts in Perception: The Campaign Versus the Presidency Chapter 5: "Presidential Communication" III. Race Matters in a "Post-Racial" Society Chapter 6: The Role of Race in "Post-Racial" Politics Chapter 7: Black Pride in, and Allegiance to, President Obama Chapter 8: White Opposition to President Obama Chapter 9: Gates/Crowley Conflict and the "Beer Summit" IV. The Media Machine Chapter 10: Media Influences Chapter 11: The Celebrity President V. Conclusion Chapter 12: Critical Reflections and Concluding Thoughtsshow more

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