Underrepresented groups are nondominant groups such as people of color; people with disabilities; people from a lower socioeconomic status; people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered; people of a nondominant religion; and retirees. These groups signify a distinct area of research, including in communication studies, both as subjects for investigation and as creators of innovative research perspectives and methodological approaches about them. Challenges to the traditional research paradigms, texts, and theories used to explain the experiences of people of color or that regard all human experiences as universal prompted such methodologies and theoretical approaches. Among the methodologies and theoretical approaches for studying underrepresented groups discussed in this entry are critical race methodology, cultural studies, afrocentricity, postcolonialism, ethnography, feminism, and phenomenological approaches.
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