Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies

Analysis of Data

To clarify the educational attainment aspect.

The educational attainment level is more often asked in these type of surveys because it helps determine a person's socioeconomic level and also, at times, race. Minorities tend to fall under categories such as high school, no education, working class, etc. And it is easier to ask this question than to ask whats a persons socioeconomic level.

So what does the data say?

After analyzing each data set, it wasn't hard to find trends. Hispanics and blacks were less likely to have access to the internet. This is evident in all of the data sets, especially Data Set A. In Christian Sandvig's article, "Connection at Ewiiaapaayp Mountain: Indigenous Internet Infrastructure" he brings to attention the fact that Native Americans are set to a higher standard when the government determines whether or not to spend money on their lands to grant access to the internet. By this I mean Native Americans are supposed to use the internet for good reasons, such as for educational purposes. However, if teens have access to the internet, more likely than not they would rather use the internet for fun purposes, such as social media or to watch videos. This trend is evident in Data Sets B, C, and D; young adults are active users of social media sites. All of these sets can apply to Youtube, as a social media site and source of videos, young adults are using these platforms instead of educational ones. All of the Data Sets emphasize the idea that people of color are active internet users. This seems to be the case, but in reality most of the users tend to use cellphones instead of desktops to access the internet. Some people may think, hey they have access to internet, what's the big deal? But in reality, only accessing the internet through a cellphone limits a persons potential of creativity and ability to either share or create content. Another thing cellphones limit, are the type of productive things people are able to such as homework. Mobiles aren't designed to accommodate word, power point etc. Instead, cell phones work strongly with apps that involve limited words and cameras.

I believe that Christian Sandvig would most definitely agree with Melissa Gilbert, the author of "Theorizing Digital and Urban Inequalities: Critical geographies of ‘race’, gender and technological capital". Gilbert's article focuses on the digital divide and how race and location play into it. These two authors would certainly agree on the fact that factors that are out of people's control shouldn't determine important things, such as internet access. The geographical components play a vital role in determining who has access. For example, in Sandvig's article Native Americans in their homelands have no internet access because of the lack of internet range. I also agree with the points they made in their articles because race, location, socioeconomic status shouldn't determine if someone should be allowed access to internet, when it is such a big part of society today. In fact, Henry Jenkins author of "Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide" states "Youtube as a site open to everyone's participation is tempered by the reality that participation is unevenly distributed across the culture. An open platform does not necessarily ensure diversity" (290). Jenkins affirms that Youtube, however great it may seem, isn't necessarily accessible by everyone. Simply because it is public and ever expanding, it doesn't necessarily signify that the whole world is on it, but instead only a fraction of those who happen to have internet access.

This page has paths:

This page references: