gets to decide what a legitimate identity is?” Celeste Lacroix,
assistant professor of communication, challenges. Lacroix’s
research explores the modern media’s depictions of different
cultures, primarily focusing on Native American tribes in the Northeast United States.
to Lacroix’s research, the Native Americans are the poorest ethnic
group in the United States and are
excessively marginalized in society and by the media’s negative
of the Native American people as a whole. “Minorities,”
Lacroix explains, “are always held to higher standards that the
never gets (held to).”
doctoral thesis was on the media’s treatment of a casino in Connecticut that was owned by a Native
American tribe. Lacroix recounts how real estate tycoon and casino
owner Donald Trump, among others, alleged that the Native Americans who
world-renowned Foxwood's Casino were not “authentic."
says her thesis did not actually concern the Native American culture
issue of gambling. Instead, her research consisted in part of more than
news articles (collected over five years) that concerned what she calls
popular conscience” about the Native American owners of the casino.
findings reflect the fact that, in spite of having reached a century of
expansion and acceptance, the general media’s depiction of 21st
century Native Americans still holds significantly racist undertones. She
says that when it comes to the media’s depiction of the Native
“You’re not talking about ‘Native Americans’- (you’re talking about)
them, notions about them, and constructions of what that means.”
this manner, the identity of a Native American in the media’s eyes has
little to do with who they really are. It simply reflects the ideas
constructed about the Native Americans as an over generalized group.
educational background is as diverse as the cultural groups she
studies. Her bachelor's degree is in speech
and rhetoric communication from Emerson College. She earned a
master’s degree in performance studies from Eastern Michigan University, and both a graduate
degree in women’s studies and a doctorate in media and rhetorical
studies (with an
emphasis in cultural studies) from Ohio University. Lacroix
found her passion for intercultural communication and media criticism
graduate level cultural studies course. Her passion continues to
up-and-coming intercultural scholars.
Jelley, a student in Lacroix’s Intercultural Communication course, said
what she loved best about Lacroix’s passion in the subject was “the
with which Dr. Lacroix gives vision to her students to intentionally
know about world cultures and how to communicate with them. She sees
symphony working together, which bleeds out of her onto her students.”
other words, Lacroix’s passion for learning about cultures is...
current projects outside the classroom include three papers. The first
covers a controversy with a
Native American tribe in Rhode Island that owned a smoke shop.
The shop was raided and shut down, and the media’s impressions of the
Americans once again reflected a biased viewpoint. Her
second paper is being written with College of Charleston colleague Elaine Griffin,
concerning a satirical news program in Spain. The news program, called
Canal Plus and owned by CNN, is done with puppets and consists of
comedy sketches about politics and sports. Their study is on the nature
satire, particularly when it comes to the United States’ political policies. The
final current project concerns the depiction
of women of color in Disney movies.
passionate about “race, gender and
ethnicity in the media,” is continually expanding the horizons of her
and currently has six or seven more ideas for papers...if she only had
information about Dr. Celeste Lacroix, please visit her website