Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online
Edited By Safiya Umoja Noble and Brendesha M. Tynes
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.
Chapter Four: Signifyin’, Bitching, and Blogging: Black Women and Resistance Discourse Online
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Signifyin’, Bitching, and Blogging: Black Women AND Resistance Discourse Online
CATHERINE KNIGHT STEELE
Much of the early research on the Internet, particularly the blogosphere, centered the experiences of Western White men. There is increasingly an interest in discovering how marginalized groups may use blogs to further their own participation in the democratic process. Previous literature has examined the use of online media by non-dominant groups; however, the lens used for this examination is that of the dominant culture. The use of new media technology by groups that have traditionally been kept out of the public sphere requires an epistemology that allows for diverse ways of understanding the production of knowledge and meaning-making. A Black feminist epistemology centralizes the conversations of Black women that occur in settings that are often excluded as valid by academic researchers. This study seeks to examine the online gossip of Black women for its potential to contribute to a discourse of resistance. Audre Lorde (1984) writes that Black female writers manage “the external manifestations of racism and sexism with the results of those distortions internalized within our consciousness of ourselves and one another” (p. 147). Using a typology crafted from Patricia Hill Collins’s (2002) model of the “matrix of domination,” this study examines Black celebrity gossip blogs and the ways in which they resist or tolerate oppression at three levels: the personal, the communal, and the institutional. The analysis...
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