Ethnicity and Race in Communication


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The Ethnicity and Race in Communication Division is concerned with methodological approaches and research that apply, extend or develop communication theory and analysis through an examination of race and ethnicity within local, international and transnational contexts.

The division also works to advocate for the improved status, representation and opportunities for underrepresented scholars in communication.


Multiethnic Southeast Asia and Social Media: Identity, Ethnicity, Community and Migration
*Projected to be published by **Anthem Press*


This edited collection aims to document ethnic, community and migrant identities and anxieties in the face of the changing ethnographic landscape of Southeast Asia in the age of social media. Digital ethnography with its emphasis on social media is a burgeoning research field. Social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogs, Vlogs, Pin It, Tumblr, Weibo, WeChat, QQ etc.) is arguably the most effective mode of network broadcast communication today. It is a platform that allows users to document and express their individual and collective identities while providing a sense of belonging and agency.
Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore are neither monoethnic nor monocultural due to conflict and change in their histories (e.g. colonialism, war and economic growth). Instead they are sites of ethnic minorities, some of which have hybridised cultural ethnicities such as the Eurasians and the Peranakans. These ethnic minorities often perform their cultural practices parallel to the dominant ethnic culture in their home nation.

Meanwhile, migration due to the global movements of people for work, study and lifestyle is part of everyday life with 3.2 per cent of the world’s population (232 million people) made up of international migrants (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2013). In Southeast Asia the circulation of both skilled and unskilled labour together with a growing number of students from within and outside the region has become commonplace, particularly in the rapidly growing economies of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The presence of these migrants has been acknowledged to have favourable economic effects such as contributing to the growth of host nation industries and remittance to the home nation while at the same time contributing to a diversity of ethnicities and cultures never seen before. The presence of both permanent and temporary migrants has created a heightened sense of anxiety among locals who perceive migrants to be competitors for employment and as direct threats to the social and cultural fabric of the nation.

By using social media as a tool of inquiry, this edited collection maps the ways in which ethnic minorities articulate their identities and examines the ways in which locals and migrants cope with each other so as to uncover the methods by which migration affects individuals and communities. It will feature essays dealing with but not limited to the following themes: nationalism, belonging, integration, (online) communities, multiculturalism, interculturalism, digital activism, anxiety over migrants, xenophobia and new racisms.
Production Details
The proposed length of the book is 10 chapters of 6,000-8,000 words authored by leading experts from diverse disciplines such as Digital Ethnography, Media and Communication Studies, Migration Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Southeast Asian Studies and Politics who will be able to provide critical in-depth discussion of the emerging issues related to multi-ethnic identities and anxieties in the age of social media and the global circulation of people
Recommended Topics
The focus of this book is to use social media as a tool to uncover new forms of and networks of nationalism as a consequence of migration in Southeast Asia while aiding contemporary discussions of racism and xenophobia in this age of social media and mass migration, as well as mapping the intersections of the relationships between migrants and locals.

Topics to be discussed in this publication include (but are not limited to) the following:
• Social media as a platform for changing representations and cultures of identity (e.g. digital activism, identity formation, modes of representation and network media and communication)
• Community, multiculturalism, belonging and agency among ethnic minorities
• Migrant anxieties, nationalism, xenophobia, new racisms
• Agency, empowerment, integration and belonging among migrant communities
• The role played by local and foreign governments in creating a sense of belonging for migrants to the host and home nations through social media.

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit a chapter proposal by 14 February 2014. The proposal should explain scope of the proposed chapter and its alignment with the theme for the book. The proposal should not be longer than 600 words. Chapter proposals should be accompanied by a brief biography for each of the chapter authors.

Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by 30 March 2014.
Full chapters are expected to be submitted by 30 July 2014.
All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a blind peer-review basis.

Potential Contributors
Scholars and practitioners working on ethnicity, race, migration and community with a focus on social media in Southeast Asia.

Please send all inquires and submissions by email (attached word document) to:
Dr. Catherine Gomes
RMIT University




May 2015 ERIC Division Newsletter


¡Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico!


On May 21, a short week from today, the 65th ICA annual conference will officially begin at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  I look forward to greeting all ERIC members who attend, and to join the lively presentations and discussions during the multiple sessions of our Division and many others throughout the conference.  You will also catch me at the six special sessions about communication issues related to Puerto Rico, which is my home country.  One of those sessions, sponsored by the Urban Communication Foundation, will include the participation of the Honorable Carmen Yulín Cruz, the Mayor of San Juan, as well as Luis García Pelatti, the President of the Puerto Rico Planning Board, among others.


Please check the ICA program for the days and times of all the ERIC Division sessions, including the pre-conference co-sponsored session dedicated to Stuart Hall and the future of media & cultural studies.  Two events at which I hope to see all ERIC members together are the business meeting on Friday, May 22 from 16:30-17:45 (San Cristobal Ballroom D), and the multi-Division social, which will follow offsite immediately after the business meeting.  That social will take place at the Bahía Urbana, located 1.9 mile from the Caribe Hilton (10 minutes by taxi, 37 minutes walking—not recommended).  


At the business meeting, please be sure to see Miyase Christensen, ERIC Chair, to get your ticket for one complementary drink.  Some appetizers will be available, but limited and you must have your nametag at all times in order to have access to those local delicacies.  A highlight of the social gathering will be a live music band that will entertain us for a couple of hours with salsa, merengue, bachata, and other great local music.  So bring your dancing shoes and be ready for mingling with our Philosophy, Theory, Critique; Visual Communication Studies; Popular Communication; Feminist Scholarship; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies Division colleagues.


During the year, there have been extremely few responses to requests for news and information from our ERIC members.  While I know you all are accomplishing great things, including generating research and publishing articles and books, news about that has not made it my way.  I’ve also been very busy and had not made the time to share my accomplishments. And given how busy I’ve been assisting with many other ICA conference events, it is not until now that I’ve made time for this newsletter. 


One indispensable announcement is that our Division will need a new secretary or co-secretaries immediately to help precisely with the gathering and dissemination of our members’ news and information; also to share postings about conference and events of interest to our Division.  At the business meeting in San Juan, we hope to recruit one or two volunteers to take on that task. (See job description below)


The only other news I have for sharing is from professor Clara Rodríguez (Fordham University,, who is interested in speaking or corresponding with others who have done studies assessing if the exportation of US television programs introduce or reinforce American style racial/ethnic and/or gender inequality in other countries.  Among the research questions she seeks to answer are: How do our exported US-TV entertainment programs affect the views of people from other countries about “otherness,” immigrants, gender, and/or racial/ethnic minority groups in the US and also in their countries?  And do these views change once these global viewers come to the US?   Please contact her directly if you wish to share your knowledge or research in such matters.


See you in San Juan next week, or in Fukuoka, Japan, June 9-13, 2016.


Federico Subervi, VC of ERIC
ERIC Division Co-Secretary positions open

A Co-Secretary (Web) is responsible for updating and maintaining the Eric Division’s website.  The website should be updated regularly with new job announcements (which are often sent by other Division members), conference calls and, after conferences, the site should be updated with meeting minutes and photos.  Updating and maintaining the website requires an understanding of the WordPress platform and basic HTML skills.  In addition, a Co-Secretary should volunteer as a paper reviewer for the Division’s annual conference, and attend the Division’s pre-conference activities. A Co-Secretary will also be expected to chair one of the Division’s panels or roundtables at the annual Convention.  Lastly, a Co-Secretary should be willing and able to perform other duties as asked/assigned by the Division Chair/Vice-Chair.  A Co-Secretary is a two-year term and begins at the close of the San Juan conference and continue through to the end of the San Diego conference in 2017.  





  • Adedayo L. Abah, Member
  • Jessica R. Abrams, Member
  • Aysha Agbarya, Member
  • Angela Alilonu, Member
  • Janeane Nicole Anderson, Member
  • Shaun Anderson, Member
  • Claudia Anguiano, Member
  • Osei Appiah, Member
  • Joyce Leonardo Arriola, Member
  • Sarah Banet-Weiser, Member
  • Bernadette Barker-Plummer, Member
  • David Barney, Member
  • Kevin G. Barnhurst, Member
  • Catherine L. Benamou, Member
  • Lyndsey Beutin, Member
  • Nurhayat Bilge, Member
  • Sarah C Bishop, Member
  • Jason Edward Black, Member
  • Lukasz Bogucki, Member
  • Cigdem Bozdag, Member
  • Evan Brody, Member
  • Emile Gabriel Bruneau, Member
  • Patrice M. Buzzanell, Member
  • Carolyn M. Byerly, Member
  • Solon Calero, Member
  • Jorge Alberto Calles-Santillana, Member
  • Aaron Castelan Cargile, Member
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  • Stewart C Chang Alexander, Member
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  • Giselle Q Chen, Member
  • Wenhong Chen, Member
  • Esther Chin, Member
  • Lilie Chouliaraki, Member
  • Miyase Christensen, Member
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  • Samantha Anne Close, Member
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  • Somava Pande, Member
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  • Swapnil Sudhakar Torne, Member
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  • Rena Zendedel, Member
  • Federico Subervi, Chair
  • Anamik Saha, Vice-Chair
  • Sudeshna Roy, Secretary
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