Sociology and Journalism Go Hand-in-Hand: Representation of Race at App State

Michael Bragg, a communications major working with the student newspaper, the Appalachian, recently took on the dififcult task of understanding the respresentation of race and ethnicity on Appalachian State University's campus. His inspiration for this journalistic investigation came from his participation in Dr. Cameron Lippard's Social Problems in American Society course. More importantly, Michael noticed the recent uptick in demonstrations by students (mostly non-white) concerning the deaths of African American men due to police brutality such as Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri (see the following link for the story on Black Lives Matter demonstrations at ASU: High Country Press). Despite bringing some awareness to these national issues, other App State students criticized these demonstrations and saw them as unnecessary since race and racism are things of the past and feel as though any attention to race issues is reverse racism (see this YouTube clip released of YikYak comments released about reactions to the demonstration: YikYakASU).

In the wake of these events, Michael wanted to better understand how race matters on campus and how it impacts non-white students in a majority-white university like App State. As a result, Michael was able to develop a featuer story that includes his research and videos of interviews with key faculty, staff, and students highlighting the challenges of diversity at ASU. To read and view his feature story, please use the following link released by the Appalachianonline: A Representation of Race.

Thanks to Michael in his efforts to bring some critical consciousness to the discussion of race relations at App State and using those sociologically-informed journalistic skills! Also, thanks to Chris Deverell for putting together the video interviews.

Michael Bragg
Published: Feb 26, 2015 9:46am