Intercultural/ Intergroup Communication and Tolerance: My research interests usually involve culture or groupness in some way. In my dissertation (Ariz State Univ, 1994), I investigated how Caucasian Americans perceive the terms “race” and what behaviors they perceive to be “racist.” In various research projects, I am looking at the link between communication behaviors and stereotypes, at cross-cultural understandings of sexual harassment, at communicative strategies in interethnic romances, and at different ethnic perspectives at what constitutes “racism.”
Multidisciplinary Understandings of Culture: In different essays and a 2006 book on the definition of culture (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), I strive to see how different disciplinary views, as well as different methods and even different assumptions about the world can inform our understandings of the nature of culture and of intolerance, such as racism and sexism.
Latin American Studies: I am also interested in communication in Latin America (Brazil specifically, though Latin America in general) and the social construction of gender, “race,” and nationality in Latin America. With knowledge of both Spanish and Portuguese, I have made presentations on Latin American communication and relationship patterns. I have published essays on the social construction of gender in Brazil and Latin America and done several presentations on the construction of “race,” particularly in Brazil. I have done consulting in Brazilian culture and taught Portuguese to local business professionals, as well as conducted training on cultural adjustment and on American culture for business sojourners. My next major research agenda will be to look at the social construction of “race” in Música Popular Brasileira (popular Brazilian music), and then to focus in on how it is negotiated in the work of specific artists, like Milton Nascimento, Tropicália (Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil), the Paralamas de Successo, and Legião Urbana.