Research conducted by the communication department’s Drs. Stephanie Norander and Gloria Galanes is receiving high accolades in the communication studies field. Their article on race and community dialogue has been chosen as lead research article for the Journal of Applied Communication Research (JACR), one of the most selective and prestigious publications in the field.
About the research
In the article, “’Bridging the Gap’: Difference, Dialogue and Community Organizing,” Galanes, College of Arts and Letters dean and professor, and Norander, associate professor and provost fellow for writing, explore how diversity and difference are integrated into public discourse within a predominantly white community, exemplifying Springfield and three area non-profits—the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, The Network and Minorities in Business.
The research project was based on long-term engagement with the community and involved several communication graduate students over a two-year period.
“It is a great example of the public affairs mission, and in particular, cultural competence and community engagement, coming to life through research and teaching at Missouri State University,” Norander said.
Differences serve as community’s ‘foundational building blocks’
“Our study shows that by engaging racial differences openly and honestly through dialogue, community members can safely articulate how hard it is to talk about race in their work and community organizations,” Norander said. “In recognizing this struggle from multi-racial perspectives, community members can then discuss how differences, racial and otherwise, are actually the foundational building blocks of a community rather than an external variable to be dealt with or a problem to be fixed.”
Download the article
Appearing in JACR’s current issue, Vol. 42, Issue 4, the article is available to download for free.