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Digital Fusion

A Society Beyond Blind Inclusion


Joy Pierce

The first national recognition of disparities in access to information technologies – a digital divide – surfaced in a 1995 report by The National Telecommunication and Information Administration. Despite efforts to close the gap and promote digital inclusion, statistical data over the course of nearly 20 years indicate a significant disparity remains in poor and minority communities. In this accessible yet scholarly work, Joy Pierce illustrates the need to examine the societal status of information technologies at the micro level. Digital Fusion is a sustained and integrated project that combines more than a decade of community participatory research in two regions of the United States. Using qualitative research methods and drawing from critical cultural studies and social theory, Digital Fusion is an interdisciplinary project that engages digital literacy and social justice issues related to race, ethnicity, language, class, and education. Thought-provoking, multi-vocal, and multi-lingual narratives from racial and ethnic minorities as well as institutional administrators lay the groundwork for potential policy implications and digital infrastructure and design. Digital Fusion illuminates the complexities of digital access and use at the micro-level and offers a participatory project that seeks to co-create a digital space; one that speaks to the specific cultural, linguistic, and social needs of underrepresented communities.
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There are so many people to thank that I know this list is incomplete. I must begin by acknowledging Jim Cultrera, Kevin DeLuca and Norman Denzin. They were—in very different yet equally important ways—instrumental in supporting, pushing and guiding me through the book writing process.

I am grateful for a community comprised of academic colleagues who read and commented on my work, participants who opened their homes and shared their everyday lives with me, and family and friends who gave words of encouragement when I needed it most. They are: Boatema Boateng, Stephanie Bor, Melanie Byrd, Donovan Conley, Janna McMahon Cotterill, Ann Darling, “Denise,” Alice Filmer, Andrea Fontana, Kelly Gates, Kristin Harrison, Leanne Hawken, Susan Kretchmer, Kimberley Mangun, Elly Maran, Cameron McCarthy, Janice Morse, Kent Ono, Kevin Pierce, Randall Pierce, Wanda Pillow, Andrea Press, Dalia Rodriguez, Helene Shugart, “Sister Alice,” “Soledad,” Erma Voss, “Wendy” and Trina Wright-Dixon.

I appreciate the support I received from the University of Illinois, University of Nevada–Las Vegas, and University of Utah. In addition, I am fortunate to have worked on this book with series editor Thomas Nakayama and Peter Lang editor, Mary Savigar. ← vii | viii →

Special thanks to Sachi, the smartest and sweetest dog I have ever known. Finally, thank you Grayson for being my greatest motivation to always do my very best.

Credits: “The Welder,” by Cherríe Moraga (1983). In C. Moraga & G. Anzaldúa (Eds.), This...

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