Over the past three decades, United States foreign policy, new immigrant communities, and increasing global economic interdependence have contributed to an increasingly complex political economy in America's major cities. For instance, recent immigration from Asia and Latin America has generated cultural anxiety and racial backlash among a number of ethnic communities in America.

Newspaper Coverage of Interethnic Conflict: Competing Visions of America examines mainstream and ethnic minority news coverage of interethnic conflicts in Miami, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Authors Hemant Shah and Michael C. Thornton investigate the role of news in racial formation, the place of ethnic minority media in the public sphere, and how these competing visions of America are part of ongoing social and political struggles to construct, define, and challenge the meanings of race and nation. The authors suggest that mainstream newspapers reinforce dominant racial ideology while ethnic minority newspapers provide an important counter-hegemonic view of U.S. race relations.

Features of this text

Pioneering and extensive comparisons of the mainstream and ethnic minority press

Unique comparative focus on relations among ethnic minorities

Both traditional quantitative and qualitative content analysis methods used to examine news stories

Informed by the sociological theory known as “racial formation,” which previously has not been applied to the field of mass communication research.

The general process of racial formation and the role of news in that process will be compelling to anyone studying the social construction of racial categories. Newspaper Coverage of Interethnic Conflict is highly recommended for students and scholars in the fields of Journalism, Mass Communications, Media Studies, Cultural Studies, and Sociology.

Introduction: Immigration, Racial Anxiety, and Racial Formation

Introduction: Immigration, racial anxiety, and racial formation

The world has experienced phenomenal political-economic change in recent years. Whether we use as our benchmark the postcolonial era of the 1950s and 1960s, the global economic recession of the 1970s, or the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, there is little argument that economic, political, and cultural relations among nations have been undergoing an irreversible transformation. The scope, breadth, and depth of these changes have been captured conceptually by the term globalization,1 which is used today in reference to the following aspects of the international political economy (see Gabriel, 1998):

  • The liberation and independence of former colonies
  • The alienating effects of mass culture, in terms of both bureaucracies over which people have ...
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