Research Spotlight

Riles, J., Varava, K., Pilny, A., & Tewksbury, D. (forthcoming). Representations of interpersonal interactions and race/ethnicity: An examination of prime-time network television. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.
Media messages have a great capacity to influence perceptions about people and behavior.  Social interaction is one class of behavior that can often involve diverse individuals engaging with one another.  In the past, mediated portrayals of different races/ethnicities interacting with one another have been observed to be deficient.  Though this trend may be changing with time, research is increasingly warranted that explores how interpersonal interaction is depicted and who is most often engaging with whom.
This study was conducted with the aim of obtaining a modern account of the state of interpersonal interaction on popular television programs.  Specifically, we explored the degree to which people of various racial/ethnic backgrounds were portrayed interacting with one another and how those interactions could be thematically characterized.  I am happy to have this manuscript accepted in theJournal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media for publication in 2017.  Furthermore, I look forward to opportunities for future collaboration and discussion.