The Routledge Companion to Media and Race. Edited by Christopher P. Campbell. New York: Routledge, 2017. 326 p. $204.00 (ISBN 978-1-138-02072-6). E-book available (978-1-315-77822-8), call for pricing.

In recent years, Routledge has published several works on various aspects of race and media, including The Race and Media Reader, edited by Gilbert B. Rodman (2014). The book under review complements Rodman’s earlier work, although it has a different purpose and focus within this well-studied subject. Campbell also carves out a bit of space for his work in a crowded field by concentrating solely on race and media as opposed to coupling them with gender and/or class, as is often the case.

The stated purpose of Campbell’s work is to be a “comprehensive guide for scholars, students, and media professionals who seek to understand key debates about the impact of media messages on racial attitudes and understanding” (i). This is attempted by collocating twenty-eight essays written by scholars in media studies, communications, journalism, and other disciplines. The essays are presented in three parts: “Studying Race and Media: Theories and Approaches,” “Race, the Medium, the Message,” and “Race, Ethnicity, and Intersectionality.” Part 1 does well in introducing several interesting theories and approaches to studying the subject. Part 2 delves into many of the contemporary issues within various mediums, including ethnic media, sports media, advertising, social media, and others; however, this section did not live up to the “comprehensive guide” goal set out by the editor. Conspicuously absent, given their prominence in contemporary American culture, were stand-alone essays and analyses of gaming and the political media; in fact, the 2016 elections are not covered in any depth. Part 3 is generally representative of the prominent ethnic groups in the United States and delves into some international coverage of India, Europe, East Asia, and others.

Readers would be hard-pressed to identify this collection of essays as a reference book, but it does bring together essays on important aspects of race and media, and it would be useful for academic libraries to consider purchasing.—Brent D. Singleton, Coordinator for Reference Services, California State University, San Bernardino


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