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The Intersectional Internet

Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online

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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 Three: Asian/American Masculinity: The Politics of Virility, Virality, and Visibility

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CHAPTER THREE

Asian/American Masculinity: The Politics OF Virility, Virality, AND Visibility

MYRA WASHINGTON

 

INTRODUCTION

Sometime during the waning hours of May 30, 2014, the video for Korean pop star PSY’s song “Gangnam Style” surpassed two billion views on YouTube (D’Orazio, 2014). It is the first video to reach the milestone, and currently (as of this writing) the only video to do so. The “Gangnam Style” video had already previously broken YouTube’s viewing record by being the first video to reach one billion views a year and half earlier (Gruger, 2012). PSY’s hit not only ruled YouTube, but “Gangnam Style” was at one point nearly omnipresent, being played from military installations (Pomicter, 2013) to news programs to the White House (Feldman, 2012) and everywhere in between. PSY himself had been everywhere since “Gangnam Style” was released in July 2012. He was spotted at Major League Baseball games (Locker, 2012) while the crowd danced and sang along to his song; appeared on television, both late night (Jimmy Kimmel Live, 2014) and daytime talk shows (The Ellen Show, 2012) and Saturday Night Live (Harbison, 2012); and closed out the American Music Awards, sharing the stage with another former viral star, MC Hammer.

During the 2013 Super Bowl, a commercial aired for Wonderful Pistachios, a Paramount Farms product, which featured PSY performing “Gangnam Style” and doing the now familiar horse dance routine from his video with some dancing...

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