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Race, Markets, and Digital Technologies: Historical and Conceptual Frameworks

  • W. Trevor JamersonEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter provides historical and conceptual frameworks for understanding how racial difference and market forces interact with—and intersect within—digital technologies. The historical framework unpacks the legacies of stereotypes and patterns of material inequality surrounding capitalist markets and technological achievement as they relate to racial categories. The conceptual framework examines prominent social media platforms Facebook and TripAdvisor to show how they help maintain racial hierarchies, participate in the formation of racial categories, and contribute to the commodification of racial difference. Digital technologies play a key role in the proliferation of a globalized economy where racially marginalized groups are clearly and systematically disadvantaged (Pieterse in Development theory, 2nd edn. Sage: Washington, 2010; Goldberg in The threat of race: reflections on racial neoliberalism. Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, 2009; Harvey in A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, New York, 2005). They have also created a myriad of new marketplaces in exclusively online settings that are measured in terms of follows, likes, clicks, and retweets. These newer digital marketplaces have a tendency to mirror existing racial inequality but are distinct in important ways (Boyd in Race after the Internet. Routledge, New York, pp 203–221, 2012; McPherson in Race after the Internet. Routledge, New York, pp. 21–37, 2012). This chapter seeks to explain what is relatively ‘old’ and what is relatively ‘new’ regarding these influences, and the frameworks presented may be used to understand and combat contemporary patterns of racial inequality in digital and market environments.

Keywords

Technology Capitalism Racial project Racialization Racial commodification Techno-orientalism Facebook TripAdvisor Tourism Traveler’s tales Digital white flight 

Further Reading

  1. Jamerson, W. T. (2016). Digital orientalism: TripAdvisor and online tourist reviews. In J. Daniels, K. Gregory, & T. M. Cottom (Eds.), Digital sociologies (pp. 119–135). Bristol: Bristol University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Nakamura, L., & Chow-White, P. (Eds.). (2012). Race after the Internet. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Omi, M., & Winant, H. (2015). Racial formation in the United States (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Werry, M. (2011). The tourist state: Performing leisure, liberalism, and race in New Zealand. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Politics and SocietiesHollins UniversityRoanokeUSA

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