DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

A Place to Start

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
Please Note: When you click the links for the articles below, you will sometimes be taken DIRECTLY to the article and can simply start reading (this means the article is OPEN ACCESS).   At other times, the article has copyright protection and the link is not direct.  If an article has copyright protection, you have to log in to this system to see the article.  You will get a message that says: "The e-Portfolio you are trying to reach is not accessible to the public. Please login and try again." Use the small sheet of paper distributed in class with your ePortfolio username and password to gain access.  It may ask you to input information as a first-time user but that should be straightforward.  You will be taken to a special, protected page with many PDFs there.  Choose the PDF that corresponds with your chosen author(s). 
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

"Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work" by Jean Anyon Click here for article.

It's no surprise that schools in wealthy communities are better than those in poor communities, or that they better prepare their students for desirable jobs. It may be shocking, however, to learn how vast the differences in schools are - not so much in resources as in teaching methods and philosophies of education. Anyon observed five elementary schools over the course of a full school year and concluded that fifth-graders of different economic backgrounds are already being prepared to occupy particular rungs on the social ladder. In a sense, some whole schools are on the vocational education track, while others are geared to produce future doctors, lawyers, and business leaders. This article is not about technology per se. It is about the ways that schools sort and classify students.  This essay was published in 1980: read it and imagine the ways that technologies exacerbate these social issues.


"Whose Internet Is It Anyway? A Dialogue on Race, Gender, and the Digital Space" by Kovie Biakolo Click here for article/interview.

I can write all the horrendous and offensive things I want and all I risk is someone making fun of my blue hair, pointing out my typos, or telling me I’m dumb because I don’t understand the Illuminati. Compared to reactions those women receive for what they write, it baffles me. I see this sort of sexist behavior online, directed at women, from both men and women, which frankly both surprises me, and doesn’t surprise me at all.

To my eyes, like any major metropolitan area, the Internet doesn’t seem like a very safe space for a woman (at least compared to how it is for a man). Writing online has given me a great gift, it’s shown me the vast social scaffolding we nickname social “privilege.” As a guy, my Internet experience is almost entirely devoid of harassment or hate-speech.


"White Flight in Networked Publics: How Race and Class Shaped American Teen Engagement with MySpace and Facebook" by Danah Boyd Click here for article 

This chapter is a qualitative research study that is inspired by a interviewer who describes MySpace this way: 

I’m not really into racism, but I think that MySpace now is more like ghetto or whatever. . .. The people who use MySpace—again, not in a racist way—but are usually more like ghetto and hip-hop rap lovers group. 

The researcher analyzes these comments and the early trends related to Facebook and MySpace through the history and politics of race, “white flight,” suburbanization, and urbanization.


"Genomic Databases and an Emerging Digital Divide in Biotechnology" by Peter Chow-White Click here for article

This reading is a chapter in Race After the Internet a collection of essays that explores identity, race, and technology. The editors, Nakamura and Chow-White, argue that "no matter how 'digital' we become, the continuing problem of social inequality along racial lines persists."  This chapter describes the Human Genome Project (HGP) and the issues related who will own and have access to the data. Scientific researchers opened access to the DNA data to the public, treating it as a public good.  Though the HGP showed, at the molecular level, that humans are all 99.9% the same, the next phase, the International HapMap project, used racial constructs that were not scientific. Chow-White interviews the scientists, looks at genomic research, and concludes that research in genomics has been biased towards whiteness, preferring data from people of European descent.  

"Violence and Economic Activity: Evidence from African American Patents, 1870 to 1940" by Lisa D. Cook Click here for article.

Recent studies have examined the effect of political conflict and domestic terrorism on economic and political outcomes. New data on patents obtained by African Americans from 1870 to 1940 provide a natural experiment for determining the impact of ethnic and political violence on economic activity. Violent acts are found to account for over 1100 missing patents over this period. Valuable patents respond negatively to major riots and segregation laws. In a placebo study, absence of the rule of law covaries with declines in patent productivity for white and black inventors but is significant only for African American inventors. Patenting responds positively to declines in violence. These findings imply that ethnic and political conflict may persistently affect the level, direction, and quality of invention and economic growth.  

"Race and Racism in Internet Studies: A Review and Critique" by Jessie Daniels Click here for article.

Race and racism persist online in ways that are both new and unique to the Internet, alongside vestiges of centuries-old forms that reverberate significantly both offline and on. As we mark 15 years into the field of Internet studies, it becomes necessary to assess what the extant research tells us about race and racism. This paper provides an analysis of the literature on race and racism in Internet studies in the broad areas of (1) race and the structure of the Internet, (2) race and racism matters in what we do online, and (3) race, social control and Internet law. Then, drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives, including Hall’s spectacle of the Other and DuBois’s view of white culture, the paper offers an analysis and critique of the field, in particular the use of racial formation theory. Finally, the paper points to the need for a critical understanding of whiteness in Internet studies. 


"The Combustible Intersection: Genomics, Forensics, and Race" by Troy Duster Click here for article.

This reading is a chapter in Race After the Internet a collection of essays that explores identity, race, and technology. The editors, Nakamura and Chow-White, argue that "no matter how 'digital' we become, the continuing problem of social inequality along racial lines persists."  In thus chapter, Duster challenges the idea that forensic evidence is infallible. He examines how DNA evidence was used in several court cases and shows how the social construction of race propels a misrepresentation of genetics in biomedical research and national DNA databases. He links these tendencies back to eugenics and asks for social change.

"Have We Become Postracial Yet? Race and Media Technology in the Age of President Obama" by Anna Everett Click here for article.

This reading is a chapter in Race After the Internet a collection of essays that explores identity, race, and technology. The editors, Nakamura and Chow-White, argue that "no matter how 'digital' we become, the continuing problem of social inequality along racial lines persists."  In this chapter, Everett looks closely at the innovative technologies that Obama used in his landmark election alongside the irony of continued racial segregation and stratification in the United States. In particular, she looks at the backlash President Obama receives, especially in the media outlets that helped him to get elected, anytime that he identifies as African-American. 

"From Black Inventors to One Laptop Per Child: Exporting a Racial Politics of Technology" by Rayvon Fouché Click here for article.

This reading is a chapter in Race After the Internet a collection of essays that explores identity, race, and technology. The editors, Nakamura and Chow-White, argue that "no matter how 'digital' we become, the continuing problem of social inequality along racial lines persists."  In Fouché's chapter, we get an an overview of late 19th and early 20th century African American inventors so that Fouche can help us better critique Nicholas Negroponte's “American” idea of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC): the $100 laptop for the developing world because it presumed technological inability there.  He then argues for "participatory design" rather than a kind of new "technological colonialism."

"Classification Situations: Life-chances in the Neoliberal Era" by Marion Fourcade and Kieran Healy Click here for article.

This article examines the stratifying effects of economic classifications. We argue that in the neoliberal era market institutions increasingly use actuarial techniques to split and sort individuals into classification situations that shape life-chances. While this is a general and increasingly pervasive process, our main empirical illustration comes from the transformation of the credit market in the United States. This market works as both as a leveling force and as a condenser of new forms of social difference. The U.S. banking and credit system has greatly broadened its scope over the past twenty years to incorporate previously excluded groups. We observe this leveling tendency in the expansion of credit amongst lower-income households, the systematization of overdraft protections, and the unex- pected and rapid growth of the fringe banking sector. But while access to credit has democratized, it has also differentiated. Scoring technologies classify and price people according to credit risk. This has allowed multiple new distinctions to be made amongst the credit-worthy, as scores get attached to different interest rates and loan structures. Scores have also expanded into markets beyond consumer credit, such as insurance, real estate, employment, and elsewhere. The result is a cumulative pattern of advantage and disadvan- tage with both objectively measured and subjectively experienced aspects. We argue these private classificatory tools are increasingly central to the generation of ‘‘market-situations’’, and thus an important and overlooked force that structures individual life-chances. In short, classification situations may have become the engine of modern class situations. 


"Make, Share, Care: Social Media and LGBTQ Youth Engagement" by Olu Jenzen and Irmi Karl Click here for article.

Social media is potentially a very useful tool for grassroots organisations that concern themselves with political action for social justice and/or the provision of community facing support services, such as LGBTQ charities and community groups. Social networking sites in particular offer the possibility of communicating with multiple constituencies and can be used to publicize services, campaign, engage potential sponsors, create peer networks, as well as communicate directly with existing and new service users. When it comes to LGBTQ youth engagement, social media outreach work offers a means to effectively reach its target group. In light of recent research in the US (Mitchell et al. 2014) that suggests a significant difference by sexual orientation among youth in relying on online sources for sexual health information (78% of LGBTQ youth compared to 19% of heterosexual youth), it can be argued that an online presence is an essential dimension for organisations working with LGBTQ youth in any capacity. This article addresses the challenges and possibilities of social media to help generate and support outreach work with young LGBTQ people in the context of youth services. This involves among other things looking at how commercial, mainstream social media platforms are utilized in pragmatic and sometimes dissident ways to fit the needs of marginalized youth, highlighting in particular the praxis of making, sharing and caring online. Thus the article is of interest both for academics working in social media and youth research, as well as outreach support workers in the public and private sectors. Based on our collaborative research project with a community partner, the Brighton/UK based LGBTU [Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Unsure] youth project Allsorts, we examine the ways in which social media are currently utilized by a youth service provider to reach and engage with isolated, marginalized, vulnerable and at risk LGBTQ youth in their everyday campaign work and service provision.


"Game Mechanics to Promote New Understandings of Identity and Ethnic Minority Stereotypes" by Joey Lee Click here for article.

The following paper discusses the design, creation, and evaluation of a new class of digital games, Identity Supportive Games, as a tool to promote new understandings of self-identity and ethnic minority stereotypes.  In particular, aspects of the Asian-American experience, including the effects of Asian stereotypes like the “Model Minority” myth, were targeted.  In this design-based research study, qualitative and quantitative data sources explored the impact of game mechanics within Identity Supportive Games on both Asian-American and Non-Asian participants.  Items investigated include: perceptions of Asian-American stereotypes, the ability to promote reflections and thoughts on self-identities and goals, the learning of facts regarding the Asian-American experience, and new understandings of Asian-American culture.


"Indigenous Circuits" by Lisa Nakamura Click here for article.

For my latest book project I wanted to take a different research path and became interested in the history of people of color as workers in Silicon Valley’s computer chip industry.  Stanford University’s Special Collections and University Archives is home to boxes of both organized and unorganized material on William Shockley, a towering figure in the history of Silicon Valley.  Shockley was best known for having co-invented the transistor with Walter Brattain and John Bardeen, and his story has been covered in fine histories such as Hoddeson and Riordan’s Crystal Fire: the Invention of the Transistor and the Birth of the Information Age.  However, I was less interested in Shockley as the “Father of Silicon Valley” and more interested in Shockley’s later years, when he became a very public advocate of scientific racism, also known as eugenics.  FOR MORE BY NAKUMURA, CLICK HERE.


"A Pedestal, A Table, A Love Letter: Archaeologies of Gender in Videogame History" by Laine Nooney Click here for article.

The history of videogames has largely been imagined as a patrilineal timeline. Women, when they emerge as participants in the game industry, are typically figured as outliers, exceptions, or early exemplars of “diversity” in the game industry. Yet the common practice of “adding women on” to game history in a gesture of inclusiveness fails to critically inquire into the ways gender is an infrastructure that profoundly affects who has access to what kinds of historical possibilities at a specific moment in time and space. This contribution aims to shift the relevant question from “Where are women in game history?” to “Why are they there in the way that they are?” To do so, the essay strategically deploys Sierra On-Line co-founder and lead designer Roberta Williams as an exceptional case study on the problem of gender in videogame history. Drawing from both media archaeology and feminist cultural studies, this contribution first outlines the function Roberta Williams serves as a gendered subject of game history. The remainder of the essay is organized as three short, non-chronological vignettes about specific objects and practices in the biography of Roberta Williams. Attention to the contextual specificity of Roberta Williams and her historical moment produces an alternative genealogy for gaming centered around relations of intimacy and labor in domestic space. Rather than producing a chronology, the method of this essay illustrates a historical critique by sketching a contour that unsettles the presumptive logic of what we must account for when we write about the objects and subjects of game history.


“Connection at Ewiiaapaayp Mountain: Indigenous Internet Infrastructure” by Christian Sandvig Click here for article.

This reading is a chapter in Race After the Internet a collection of essays that explores identity, race, and technology. The editors, Nakamura and Chow-White, argue that "no matter how 'digital' we become, the continuing problem of social inequality along racial lines persists."  This chapter is a study of the Tribal Digital Village (TDV), a solar wireless Internet distribution network that serve about 1,500 users on 17 Indian reservations in Southern California. Details are provided about installation and infrastructure along with a discussion about tribal politics and identity.  Sanvid shows what "participatory design" rather than "technological colonialism" looks like in Indian Country.

The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014 by womensmediacenter.com  Click here for reading.  

(Read any SIX REPORTS of your choice) The Women’s Media Center – founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem – has the goal of making women visible and powerful in media. Media influence is one of the most powerful economic and cultural forces today.  By deciding who gets to talk, what shapes the debate, who writes, and what is important enough to report, media shape our understanding of who we are and what we can be. The problem is that we only rarely use half of our talent and usually hear half of the story. This report shines a light on the status of women in media and underscores the crucial need to hold media accountable for an equal voice and equal participation. This report summarizes the most recent available statistical data on:

  • Representation of women in media occupations associated with determining content of news
  • Representation of women in media occupations associated with determining content of television and film entertainment
  • Gender equity in film reviews
  • How women are depicted on entertainment television and film
  • Women and digital news consumption
  • Representation of women for online-only sites and in video games
  • Recommendations to news organizations, producers and interview bookers

The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014 report consists of a meta-analysis of stories, studies, data and issues that affect women and media. The author compiled, reviewed and analyzed the latest quantitative and qualitative data and research on women and media, and conducted interviews.


"Digital Divide: Navigating the Digital Edge" by S. Craig Watkins Click here for article.

In years past the great fear was that the digital divide would leave black and Latino youth discon- nected from the social, educational, and civic op- portunities the Internet affords. However, some of the most urgent questions today are less about ac- cess and more about the context and quality of en- gagement. Specifically, how do race, class, gender, and geography influence the digital media practices of young people? Even as a growing diversity of young people adopts digital media technologies, not all digital media ecologies are equal. Accordingly, noteworthy risks and opportunities are associated with young people’s digital lives. But how are the risks and opportunities distributed? And are some youth more likely to experience the risks than the opportunities? 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.