Race and Ethnicity as Foundational Forces in Political Communication: Special Issue Introduction

Stewart M. Coles, Daniel Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


Despite the centrality of race and ethnicity in social and political life, they are often absent from studies of the urgent questions in contemporary political communication research. In this essay introducing a special issue focused on “Race and Ethnicity as Foundational Forces in Political Communication,” we examine factors that may contribute to the relative absence of race/ethnicity in the political communication scholarship, including: 1) structural inequalities in the field, 2) contested conceptualizations of race, and 3) the domination of certain epistemological and methodological traditions. We introduce the articles in this issue as a means of moving toward a richer integration of race/ethnicity into the field’s “big questions” and expanding the boundaries of the field itself. In making a case for a more robust conversation about race and ethnicity in political communication, we note crucial areas for self-reflection, debate, and inspiration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-376
Number of pages10
JournalPolitical Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


  • interdisciplinarity
  • meta-research
  • political communication
  • Race and ethnicity
  • systemic inequality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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