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Osei Appiah (Ohio State University)

May 19, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

*All Spring Design@Large talks will be hosted online. This aligns with UC San Diego policy that all events be hosted virtual during the Spring 2021 quarter.

Cultural Voyeurism: A New Framework for Understanding Race, Ethnicity, and Mediated Intergroup Interaction

Communication research on race may overlook noteworthy progress in cross-racial communication and interaction. Bold new thinking is necessary to simultaneously leverage research on racial representations, acknowledge evidence of racial discord, and recognize and explore progress toward positive change in race relations. An indicator of progress may be increasing instances of mediated intergroup interaction, facilitated though a process of cultural voyeurism. Cultural voyeurism describes the process by which mediated experiences provide a window into a culture that would otherwise be difficult for the voyeur to access. Cultural voyeurism facilitates meaningful mediated contact, which in turn helps promote positive interracial interaction. The acquisition of knowledge derived from cultural voyeurism can aide cross-cultural understanding and contribute to the reduction of racial prejudice.

About the Speakers

Dr. Osei Appiah is a Professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. He is a renowned communication and race scholar who has written and lectured about the impact of strategic communication messages and the role stereotypes play on intergroup interaction. His work attempts to provide a better understanding of the theoretical underpinnings and psychological mechanisms at work when people are exposed to ethnic-specific messages in the media. Dr. Appiah’s recent line of research tackles rarely and inadequately addressed questions concerning the fears Whites and Blacks have regarding talking about race-specific issues with each other and the important role political partisanship may play in this process.

Dr. Appiah holds a B.A. in communication from Santa Clara University, an M.S. in communication from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in communication from Stanford University. His professional experience includes product marketing and customer research at Apple Computer, and sports marketing at Nike.

About Design@Large

Design@Large is a speaker series that is hosted by The Design Lab at UCSD, where each quarter we examine a topic in society and the relevance and implications through the lens of human centered design.

Co-hosted by Elizabeth Eikey and Edward Wang and developed in partnership with Carrie Sawyer of Diversity by Design, Design@Large this quarter is a continuation of Winter 2021. The focus is racism in the design of everyday things across a range of topics, such as artificial intelligence, healthcare, advertising, and more. Talks will help shed light on the historical context of racism, the consequences of “designing” without understanding racism’s deep roots, and provide examples of anti-racist and equitable approaches in practice. Too often we want to jump straight to action, but without building our capacity to understand racism (and other “isms”) and critically evaluating its impact, we perpetuate racism and inequity – even with the best intentions. Through an exciting lineup of speakers, this series begins to make connections between history and designing and aims to promote awareness around the lifelong practice of anti-racist work across a variety of interconnected domains.


May 19, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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