April 04, 2012

Expert to discuss Obama’s communication style

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An expert in communication comes to Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Friday, April 6, to discuss public perceptions of Barack Obama, including the president’s communication style.

Mark P. Orbe, professor of communication and diversity at Western Michigan University, and the author of the 2011 book, “Communication Realities in a ‘Post-Racial’ Society: What the U. S. Public Really Thinks of President Barack Obama,” will speak at 1 p.m. in the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library.

Orbe included extensive travel and interviews with diverse groups of people in his book research, including: rural volunteer firefighters in southern Ohio; African American men in Oakland, Calif.; religious communities in Alabama; New England senior citizens; military families from southern Virginia; Tea Party members from Nebraska; business and community leaders from North Carolina; individuals currently unemployed or underemployed in Connecticut; college students; and others.  His research yields an in-depth look at the complexities of politics, race, and communication.

Orbe is the author of nine books, and more than 100 articles and book chapters.  His research specialties include mass media representations of under-represented groups, and the way those with multiple cultural identities navigate the intersection of these cultural influences.

The Department of Speech Communication, with assistance from the departments of Africana studies; political science; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, sponsor this visit.