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Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Making Our Stories Count: Racial, Gendered, and Sexualized Antagonisms in the Academy

By Stacy Holman Jones, 2018

In their recent article “#CommunicationSoWhite” in the Journal of Communication, authors Paula Chakravartty, Rachel Kuo, Victoria Grubbs, and Charlton McIllwain move to decenter white masculinity as the normative core of scholarly inquiry by coding and analyzing the racial composition of editorial boards, primary authorship, and citation practices in communication journals published by the National Communication Association and International Communication Association for the years 1990–2016.2 Their frustrating and unsurprising findings are that non-white scholars are “significantly underrepresented as published authors and under-cited as producers of value in the field of communication,”3 resulting in citational segregation and disparity and pervasive white masculinity in communication studies and in academia writ large. These statistics and others documenting the political nature of citationality lay bare the workings of academic knowledge production that reproduces and “reinforces Whiteness as its undisputed, unexamined frame,” one that is “incapable of asking what we might learn…

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