CYBERTYPES RACE ETHNICITY AND IDENTITY ON THE INTERNET PDF

A conversation aimed at understanding the current theories and topics present in digital technology and culture. To begin, chapter one titled, "Cybertyping and The Work of Race in The Age of Digital Reproduction" discusses the role of race in the digital workforce. As a precursor to chapter two, which deals with the different "head hunting" approaches to recruit a specific racially stereotyped Asian worker, chapter one aims to first explain and understand race in the online world. This notion can be seen in the digital identity tourism that Nakamura discusses in chapter one. The notion of "going native" or viewing the native as a means through "identity tourism" presents several problems of racial representation online. In turn, Nakamura goes on to argue that in the Internet, nothing is authentic because it is a copy of the offline world.

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She names the images of racial identity online that shape these perceptions cybertypes. These cybertypes are often determined and defined by the racial and ethnic stereotypes that are already at work and at play in the "real world.

Chapter one, "Cybertyping and the Work of Race in the Age of Digital Reproduction," looks at how race gets coded for different kinds of work in the IT industry. Nakamura makes the argument that while foreign minorities, such as Asians, get glorified as "model minorities," domestic minorities, like African Americans, are troped as digital outsiders.

In this chapter Nakamura breaks down the idea and history of stereotypes in order to define the power and politics that drive cybertypes rhetorically online and in the offline spaces that surround technology. She calls upon critical race theorists such as bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Kali Tal, and Vijay Prashad to interrogate questions of race in advertising, staffing in the IT industry, and the myth of access.

This chapter pulls from a variety of different theories and calls us to pay attention to aspects of technology that we have thus far ignored. The newness of the ideas in this chapter in many ways makes it the best chapter in the book. Chapter two, "Head-Hunting on the Internet," focuses on interactions in online social roleplaying spaces. Nakamura uses this chapter to investigate how "real world" stereotypes are used in the creation of raced and gendered characters online.

She argues that this attempt to "pass," or engage in "identity tourism" online only serves to perpetuate stereotypes and build new cybertypes. Nakamura uses advertisements for Compaq, IBM, and Origin products to discuss the depiction of racial difference as stereotyped visual markers. The chapter, "Menu-Driven Identities," that follows moves "into the machine" and examines the relationship between users and Internet interfaces.

Nakamura looks at the limitations of sites that require people to racially identify in order to become members of that online community and argues that it denies users the possibility of a mestiza consciousness that incorporates more than one racial identity Nakamura argues that cyberspace, like race, is a construct that can only be changed if and when we free our minds of racism.

In this final section Nakamura draws connections between the Internet and the subversive potential of hip-hop music and addresses the digital divide and the lack of academics of color that contribute to cyberculture theory. Like so much of the book, the conclusion references past cybertheory research and offers new perspectives on it and calls for further research into race, ethnicity, and identity creation on the Internet.

All in all, Cybertypes is a good start at scrutinizing cyberculture theory under the lens of critical race theory, but much of the time it fails to show the deep and abiding connections between race online and more traditional critical race theory and falls back on the traditional method of literary analysis.

For a review of a related text, see Race in Cyberspace.

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Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet

She names the images of racial identity online that shape these perceptions cybertypes. These cybertypes are often determined and defined by the racial and ethnic stereotypes that are already at work and at play in the "real world. Chapter one, "Cybertyping and the Work of Race in the Age of Digital Reproduction," looks at how race gets coded for different kinds of work in the IT industry. Nakamura makes the argument that while foreign minorities, such as Asians, get glorified as "model minorities," domestic minorities, like African Americans, are troped as digital outsiders. In this chapter Nakamura breaks down the idea and history of stereotypes in order to define the power and politics that drive cybertypes rhetorically online and in the offline spaces that surround technology. She calls upon critical race theorists such as bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Kali Tal, and Vijay Prashad to interrogate questions of race in advertising, staffing in the IT industry, and the myth of access. This chapter pulls from a variety of different theories and calls us to pay attention to aspects of technology that we have thus far ignored.

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