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The Intersectional Internet

Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online


Edited By Safiya Umoja Noble and Brendesha M. Tynes

From race, sex, class, and culture, the multidisciplinary field of Internet studies needs theoretical and methodological approaches that allow us to question the organization of social relations that are embedded in digital technologies, and that foster a clearer understanding of how power relations are organized through technologies.
Representing a scholarly dialogue among established and emerging critical media and information studies scholars, this volume provides a means of foregrounding new questions, methods, and theories which can be applied to digital media, platforms, and infrastructures. These inquiries include, among others, how representation to hardware, software, computer code, and infrastructures might be implicated in global economic, political, and social systems of control.
Contributors argue that more research needs to explicitly trace the types of uneven power relations that exist in technological spaces. By looking at both the broader political and economic context and the many digital technology acculturation processes as they are differentiated intersectionally, a clearer picture emerges of how under-acknowledging culturally situated and gendered information technologies are impacting the possibility of participation with (or purposeful abstinence from) the Internet.
This book is ideal for undergraduate and graduate courses in Internet studies, library and information studies, communication, sociology, and psychology. It is also ideal for researchers with varying expertise and will help to advance theoretical and methodological approaches to Internet research.
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Chapter Eleven: The Invisible Information Worker: Latinas in Telecommunications


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The Invisible Information Worker: Latinas IN Telecommunications




Recent research has focused on the lack of Latinas in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), information technology (IT), and computing fields. As of 2013, only 3 percent of Latinas were represented in STEM fields (Jackson, 2013), and in 2011, Latina/os made up 7 percent of the STEM workforce (Landivar, 2013). However, few look at the historical causes of the underrepresentation of Latinas in tech-related fields, and those Latinas who do work with information technologies often remain unseen. Historically, Latinas have worked as invisible information laborers in telecommunications, providing the infrastructure that supports contemporary new media systems. In 1973, the consent decree between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) Company led to the employment of Latinas, White women, and blue-collar information workers. But the EEOC v. AT&T case suggests a historical precedent of Latina exclusion in STEM, IT, Internet, and telecommunications related fields. The EEOC v. AT&T consent decree, an equal employment affirmative action mandate for underrepresented people, settled decades-long filings of employment discrimination toward White women and women and men of color. Latinas entered the lower levels of the telecommunications field with the consent decree settlement, beginning lifelong careers under the Bell System1 as telephone operators, customer service representatives, data entry ← 195 | 196 → operators, and electrical engineers, to name a...

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