SINCE at least the late 1980s, the politics of identity (ethnicity, sexual-ity, religion, age) or the need for recognition (Taylor, 1995) has had aprominent place in academic (e.g., Arthur & Shapiro, 1995; Choi & Murphy, 1992; Goldberg, 1994; Gordon & Newfield, 1996) and popular (e.g., Bloom, 1987; D' Souza, 1991; Kimball, 1990) discourse. This intellectual movement stems from the long-standing and broader struggle to advance civil
rights, a movement largely responsible for opening new vistas of scholarship. In the past 30 years there has been an explosion of literature concentrating on traditionally overlooked topics as well as advancing research and theories designed to end injustices based on ethnicity, sex, class, and other social factors. The literature is now broad, expansive, and interdisciplinary (e.g., involving the social sciences, the humanities, and cultural, ethnic, and gender studies). In a previous volume of the Communication Yearbook, this trend is evidenced by three chapters regarding age (Nussbaum, Hummert, Williams, & Harwood, 1996) and sexual harassment (Keyton, 1996; Metts & Spitzberg, 1996).