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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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Chapter 1. Inside/Out: Digital Literacy and [Auto]ethnography


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Digital Literacy and [Auto]ethnography

I decided to become a journalist at the age of eight. The thing that struck me the most about a career in journalism is the ability to research a subject, write about it, and disseminate information to a larger audience in an effort to help people make informed decisions. Nearly forty-odd years later, my profession has changed, but my goals remain the same.

While I spent the better part of fifth grade tutoring my Filipina friends in English, I often wondered why the emphasis to become engaged in United States mainstream society was placed on children and not on young, middle aged, and older adults—their parents and grandparents. My friends’ moms were great storytellers. They would speak Tagalog and my friends would translate. I would respectfully attempt to help the moms learn English, but they were uninterested. Their focus was always on sharing stories about their culture and homeland while insisting their children become more American. The single thing that most compelled me that year was the similarity between the stories my friends’ moms told and the ones passed down to me by my great-grandfather and grandparents.

Storytelling, then as today, holds great value in the lessons learned through generations past and the ambitions of descendants yet to be realized. The cliché that children are our future is certainly accurate as we swiftly ← 1 | 2 → shift toward a more...

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