The study of intergroup communication concerns the ways in which communication within and between groups affects social relations. Intergroup encounters occur when social, rather than personal, identity forms the basis for communication. Intergroup communication is often characterized by power inequality, bias, competition or conflict. These troubling aspects of intergroup communication have been realized in scholarship on prejudice and discrimination (e.g., ageism, racism, sexism), aggression, violence, and genocide. However, intergroup communication can be equally characterized by positive communication found in identity expansion, cooperation, altruism, negotiation, and collaboration. Intergroup research informs many social contexts; some examples of these contexts are to be found in communication between members of co-cultures, cultures, nationalities, genders, generations, as well as groups belonging in the workplace and health contexts. There are arguable intergroup dimensions to all of the areas of concern to communication scholars. Intergroup communication informs mass, organizational, intercultural, political, socio-cognitive, and interactive aspects of communication.
The Intergroup Communication Interest Group provides a home for quantitative and qualitative approaches to intergroup communication phenomena. We welcome perspectives from social psychology, sociology, sociolinguistics, and political science with an aim to providing an exciting interdisciplinary niche for intergroup communication.