Ball-Rokeach co-authors "Understanding Ethnic Media" book

Communication professor and Metamorphosis Project principal investigator Sandra Ball-Rokeach (pictured, below right) is the co-author of recently published Understanding Ethnic Media: Producers, Consumers and Societies (Sage).

Understanding Ethnic Media is a comprehensive review and analysis of how media produced by and for ethnic communities affect identity between “us” and “others.” It also discusses how the production and consumption of ethnic media affect the larger media. 

The book approaches the ethnic media from the consumers’ point of view and the producers’ vantage point as changes occur in the ethnic community affect the media, and vice versa. It examines relationships between the ethnic media available in particular markets and between the ethnic and mainstream media.

Ball-Rokeach said the grounded approach that has guided the Metamorphosis Project forced her early on to admit to being unaware of the huge world of ethnic media.

"Once we made room for ethnic media in our research observations, we found that these media are playing central roles in the communication ecologies of not only new immigrants, but also in the lives of settled ethnic and racial communities," she said. "My colleagues and I have come to regard these media as one of the spaces where local and global identities are negotiated."

She said the need for research on ethnic media is increasingly clear in fields as diverse as media studies, ethnicity and race, political science, sociology, urban anthropology, communication and journalism. Ethnic media are a dynamic site of negotiation of group and societal identities, inter-group relations, and the reconstruction of civil society for the conditions of a globalized world.

"This comprehensive book offers a global overview," said Myria Georgiou of the London School of Economics and Political Science. "The rich data discussed and the activities proposed make a very good introductory text for ethnic media teaching. The organization of the material is excellent and the writing is particularly engaging and confident, and brings the subject to life."

Said Donald R. Browne of the University of Minnesota: "This is an excellent contribution to a growing body of important literature."

The book was also co-authored by Matthew D. Matsaganis of the University of Albany, SUNY and Vikki Katz of The State University of New Jersey.

Key features of the book:

  • A fresh viewpoint: The book focuses on how and why ethnic and racial minorities produce and consume media for themselves not just how they are represented in or by the media.
  • An ecological approach: The authors explore the growth of ethnic media in different socio-political contexts and approach ethnic media from the vantage points of both the audience and the media organization.
  • An international focus: Provides readers with comparative examples from around the world.
  • A conceptual and practical focus: Conceptual content is relevant, timely, and connected to readers’ lived experiences through real-world case studies.
  • A student-friendly presentation: In each chapter, introductory bullet points identify the main concepts and issues, key terms are defined, student projects are suggested, and discussion questions are provided.