Winner, CCCC Outstanding Book Award in the Edited Collection Category, 2018
With the election of our first black president, many Americans began to argue that we had finally ended racism, claiming that we now live in a postracial era. Yet near-daily news reports regularly invoke white as a demographic category and recount instances of racialized violence as well as an increased sensitivity to expressions of racial unrest. Clearly, American society isn’t as color-blind as people would like to believe. In Rhetorics of Whiteness: Postracial Hauntings in Popular Culture, Social Media, and Education, contributors reveal how identifications with racialized whiteness continue to manifest themselves in American culture.
The sixteen essays that comprise this collection not only render visible how racialized whiteness infiltrates new twenty-first-century discourses and material spaces but also offer critical tactics for disrupting this normative whiteness. Specifically, contributors examine popular culture (novels, films, TV), social media (YouTube, eHarmony, Facebook), education (state law, the textbook industry, dual credit programs), pedagogy (tactics for teaching via narratives, emotional literacy, and mindfulness) as well as cultural theories (concepts of racialized space, anti-dialogicism, and color blindness). Offering new approaches to understanding racialized whiteness, this volume emphasizes the importance of a rhetorical lens for employing whiteness studies’ theories and methods to identify, analyze, interpret, and interrupt representations of whiteness.
Although whiteness studies has been waning as an active research field for the past decade, the contributors to Rhetorics of Whiteness assert that it hasn’t lost its relevancy because racialized whiteness and issues of systemic racism persist in American society and culture today. Few whiteness studies texts have been published in rhetoric and composition in the past decade, so this collection should quickly become mandatory reading. By focusing on common, yet often overlooked, contemporary examples of how racialized whiteness haunts U.S. society, Rhetorics of Whiteness serves as a valuable text for scholars in the field as well as anyone else interested in the topic.
In Algorithmic Desire, Matthew Flisfeder shows that social media is a metaphor that reveals the dominant form of contemporary ideology: neoliberal capitalism. The preeminent medium of our time, social media’s digital platform and algorithmic logic shape our experience of democracy, enjoyment, and desire. Weaving between critical theory and analyses of popular culture, Flisfeder uses examples from The King’s Speech, Black Mirror, Gone Girl, The Circle, and Arrival to argue that social media highlights the antisocial dimensions of twenty-first-century capitalism. He counters leading critical theories of social media—such as new materialism and accelerationism—and thinkers such as Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, proposing instead a new structuralist account of the ideology and metaphor of social media. Emphasizing the structural role of crises, gaps, and negativity as central to our experiences of reality, Flisfeder interprets the social media metaphor through a combination of dialectical, Marxist, and Lacanian frameworks to show that algorithms may indeed read our desire, but capitalism, not social media, truly makes us antisocial. Wholly original in its interdisciplinary approach to social media and ideology, Flisfeder’s conception of “algorithmic desire” is timely, intriguing, and sure to inspire debate.
Social media provides ethno-racial immigrant groups—especially those who cannot vote due to factors such as lack of citizenship and limited English proficiency—the ability to mobilize and connect around collective issues. Online spaces and discussion forums have encouraged many Asian Americans to participate in public policy debates and take action on social justice issues. This form of digital group activism serves as an adaptive political empowerment strategy for the fastest-growing and largest foreign-born population in America. Asian American Connective Action in the Age of Social Media illuminates how associating online can facilitate and amplify traditional forms of political action.
James Lai provides diverse case studies on contentious topics ranging from affirmative action debates to textbook controversies to emphasize the complexities, limitations, and challenges of connective action that is relevant to all racial groups. Using a detailed multi-methods approach that includes national survey data and Twitter hashtag analysis, he shows how traditional immigrants, older participants, and younger generations create online consensus and mobilize offline to foment political change. In doing so, Lai provides a nuanced glimpse into the multiple ways connective action takes shape within the Asian American community.
Challenges to Silicon Valley’s dominant role in conjuring and patenting the world’s technological futures are arising around the world. As digital media technologies emerge from new, globally dispersed locations, a multipolar order of communication innovation seems to be in the making. Yet recovering our ability to imagine futures otherwise requires negotiating conditions—economic, geopolitical, sociocultural, and ecological—rather than reproducing them under the pretext of breaking with the present. The essays in this volume examine research on such conditions critically and comparatively in a variety of geographies. Paying due attention to China’s rise as an innovative platform society and AI powerhouse, this book addresses the broader question of a shifting world order and trends that are shaped by China’s influence but that extend beyond its borders. Looking at multipolar communication innovation through various critical lenses, our technological futures simultaneously appear to be old, new, and uncertain, while the infrastructures and platforms underpinning communication innovation both affiliate communities and set them apart.
Denied access to traditional advertising platforms by lack of resources, craft breweries have proliferated despite these challenges by embracing social media platforms, and by creating an obsessed culture of fans. In Craft Obsession, Jeff Rice uses craft beer as a case study to demonstrate how social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter function to shape stories about craft.
Rice weaves together theories of writing, narrative, new media, and rhetoric with a personal story of his passion for craft beer. He identifies six key elements of social media rhetoric—anecdotes, repetition, aggregation, delivery, sharing, and imagery—and examines how each helps to transform small, personal experiences with craft into a more widespread movement. When shared via social media, craft anecdotes—such as the first time one had a beer—interrupt and repeat one another, building a sense of familiarity and identity among otherwise unconnected people. Aggregation, the practice of joining unlike items into one space, builds on this network identity, establishing a connection to particular brands or locations, both real and virtual. The public releases of craft beers are used to explore the concept of craft delivery, which involves multiple actors across multiple spaces and results in multiple meanings. Finally, Rice highlights how personal sharing operates within the community of craft beer enthusiasts, who share online images of acquiring, trading for, and consuming a wide variety of beers. These shared stories and images, while personal for each individual, reflect the dependence of craft on systems of involvement. Throughout, Rice relates and reflects on his own experience as a craft beer enthusiast and his participation via social media in these systems.
Both an objective scholarly study and an engaging personal narrative about craft beer, Craft Obsession provides valuable insights into digital writing, storytelling, and social media.
An urgent examination of the threat posed to social media by user disconnection, and the measures websites will take to prevent it
No matter how pervasive and powerful social media websites become, users always have the option of disconnecting—right? Not exactly, as Tero Karppi reveals in this disquieting book. Pointing out that platforms like Facebook see disconnection as an existential threat—and have undertaken wide-ranging efforts to eliminate it—Karppi argues that users’ ability to control their digital lives is gradually dissipating.
Taking a nonhumancentric approach, Karppi explores how modern social media platforms produce and position users within a system of coded relations and mechanisms of power. For Facebook, disconnection is an intense affective force. It is a problem of how to keep users engaged with the platform, but also one of keeping value, attention, and desires within the system. Karppi uses Facebook’s financial documents as a map to navigate how the platform sees its users. Facebook’s plans to connect the entire globe through satellites and drones illustrates the material webs woven to keep us connected. Karppi analyzes how Facebook’s interface limits the opportunity to opt-out—even continuing to engage users after their physical death. Showing how users have fought to take back their digital lives, Karppi chronicles responses like Web2.0 Suicide Machine, an art project dedicated to committing digital suicide.
For Karppi, understanding social media connectivity comes from unbinding the bonds that stop people from leaving these platforms. Disconnection brings us to the limit of user policies, algorithmic control, and platform politics. Ultimately, Karppi’s focus on the difficulty of disconnection, rather than the ease of connection, reveals how social media has come to dominate human relations.
Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, our younger selves have been captured and preserved online. But what happens, Kate Eichhorn asks, when we can’t leave our most embarrassing moments behind? Rather than a childhood cut short by a loss of innocence, the real crisis of the digital age may be the specter of a childhood that can never be forgotten.
Folklore and Social Media
Andrew Peck Utah State University Press, 2020 Library of Congress GR44.E43F64 2020 | Dewey Decimal 398.20285
Ten years after the publication of the foundational edited collection Folklore and the Internet, Andrew Peck and Trevor J. Blank bring an essential update of scholarship to the study of digital folklore, Folklore and Social Media. A unique virtual, hybridized platform for human communication, social media is more dynamic, ubiquitous, and nuanced than the internet ever was by itself, and the majority of Americans use it to access and interact with digital source materials in more advanced and robust ways.
This book features twelve chapters ranging in topics from legend transmission and fake news to case studies of memes, joke cycles, and Twitter hashtag campaigns and offers fresh insights on digital heritage and web archiving. The editors and contributors take both the “digital” and “folklore” elements seriously because social media fundamentally changes folk practices in new, though often invisible, ways. Social media platforms encourage hybrid performances that appear informal and ordinary while also offering significant space to obfuscate backstage behaviors through editing and retakes. The result is that expression online becomes increasingly reminiscent of traditional forms of face-to-face interaction, while also hiding its fundamental differences.
Folklore and Social Media demonstrates various ways to refine methods and analyses in order to develop a better understanding of the informal and traditional dynamics that define an era of folklore and social media. It is an invaluable addition to the literature on digital folklore scholarship that will be of interest to students and scholars alike.
Sheila Bock, Peter M. Broadwell, Bill Ellis, Jeana Jorgensen, Liisi Laineste, John Laudun, Linda J. Lee, Lynne S. McNeill, Ryan M. Milner, Whitney Phillips, Vwani Roychowdhury, Timothy R. Tangherlini, Tok Thompson, Elizabeth Tucker, Kristiana Willsey
What impact does our relentless fixation on the gadget have on the struggle for new kinds of solidarity, political articulation, and intelligence? In this groundbreaking study, Joss Hands explores the new political and social forces that are emerging in the age of social media, and examines how they are transforming our individual and class consciousness. Exploring a range of manifestations in the digital commons, he investigates what forms digital solidarity can take and asks how the communisms of the past might shape the solidarities of the future.
Collectively known as Hallyu, Korean music, television programs, films, online games, and comics enjoy global popularity, thanks to new communication technologies. In recent years, Korean popular culture has also become the subject of academic inquiry. Whereas the Hallyu’s impact on Korea’s national image and domestic economy, as well as on transnational cultural flows, have received much scholarly attention, there has been little discussion of the role of social media in Hallyu’s propagation.
Contributors to Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media explore the ways in which Korean popular cultural products are shared by audiences around the globe; how they generate new fans, markets, and consumers through social media networks; and how scholars can analyze, interpret, and envision the future of this unprecedented cultural phenomenon.
This book examines the role media platforms play in anti-rape and sexual harassment activism in India. Including 75 interviews with feminist activists and journalists working across India, it proposes a framework of agenda-building and establishes a theoretical framework to examine media coverage of issues in the digitally emerging Global South.
With iLobby.eu, Caroline De Cock draws on extensive firsthand experience to present a thorough guide to lobbying the European Union using both traditional methods and social media tools. This practical handbook includes an introduction to lobbying, with tips and anecdotes, recommendations for the use of social media, comprehensive indices, and detailed examples of best and worst practices.
The 2012 smash "Gangnam Style" by the Seoul-based rapper Psy capped the triumph of Hallyu , the Korean Wave of music, film, and other cultural forms that have become a worldwide sensation. Dal Yong Jin analyzes the social and technological trends that transformed South Korean entertainment from a mostly regional interest aimed at families into a global powerhouse geared toward tech-crazy youth. Blending analysis with insights from fans and industry insiders, Jin shows how Hallyu exploited a media landscape and dramatically changed with the 2008 emergence of smartphones and social media, designating this new Korean Wave as Hallyu 2.0. Hands-on government support, meanwhile, focused on creative industries as a significant part of the economy and turned intellectual property rights into a significant revenue source. Jin also delves into less-studied forms like animation and online games, the significance of social meaning in the development of local Korean popular culture, and the political economy of Korean popular culture and digital technologies in a global context.
How are social media users influenced by platform when creating content, and does this influence determine whether or not they comply with copyright laws? These are pressing questions in today’s internet age, and Regulating Content on Social Media answers them by analyzing social media use from a copyright perspective. Corinne Tan compares the regulation of copyright laws across selected social media platforms—Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, and Wikipedia—with other regulatory factors such as the terms of service and the technological features of each platform. This comparison enables her to explore how each platform affects the role copyright laws play in securing compliance from their users. Through empirical research and a hypothetical case study detailing the social media activities of user Jane Doe, the book argues that, in spite of copyright laws’ purported regulation, users are encouraged by the social media platforms themselves to behave in ways that may be inconsistent with the law.
The first book to look at how social media platforms affect users’ compliance with copyright laws, Regulating Content on Social Media is a timely addition to the current media landscape.
In this counterintuitive study of digital democracy, Jen Schradie shows how the web has become another weapon in the arsenal of the powerful, and a potent weapon for conservative activists. Rather than leveling the playing field, the internet has tilted it in favor of the Right, where only the most sophisticated and well-funded players can compete.
Cracking open the politics of transparency and secrecy
In an era of open data and ubiquitous dataveillance, what does it mean to “share”? This book argues that we are all “shareveillant” subjects, called upon to be transparent and render data open at the same time as the security state invests in practices to keep data closed. Drawing on Jacques Rancière’s “distribution of the sensible,” Clare Birchall reimagines sharing in terms of a collective political relationality beyond the veillant expectations of the state.
Daniel Miller spent 18 months undertaking an ethnographic study with the residents of an English village, tracking their use of the different social media platforms. Following his study, he argues that a focus on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram does little to explain what we post on social media. Instead, the key to understanding how people in an English village use social media is to appreciate just how ‘English’ their usage has become. He introduces the ‘Goldilocks Strategy’: how villagers use social media to calibrate precise levels of interaction ensuring that each relationship is neither too cold nor too hot, but ‘just right’. He explores the consequences of social media for groups ranging from schoolchildren through to the patients of a hospice, and he compares these connections to more traditional forms of association such as the church and the neighbourhood. Above all, Miller finds an extraordinary clash between new social media that bridges the private and the public domains, and an English sensibility that is all about keeping these two domains separate.
Since the birth of the internet, low-income Brazilians have received little government support to help them access it. In response, they have largely self-financed their digital migration, which can be seen in the rise of internet cafés in working-class neighborhoods and families purchasing their own computers through special agreements. Juliano Spyer argues that social media is the way for low-income Brazilians to stay connected, despite systematic ridicule from the more affluent, thus suggesting that social media serves a crucial function in strengthening traditional social relations.
‘Life outside the mobile phone is unbearable.’ Lily, 19, factory worker Described as the biggest migration in human history, an estimated 250 million Chinese people have left their villages in recent decades to live and work in urban areas. Xinyuan Wang spent 15 months living among a community of these migrants in a small factory town in southeast China to track their use of social media. It was here she witnessed a second migration taking place: a movement from offline to online. As Wang argues, this is not simply a convenient analogy but represents the convergence of two phenomena as profound and consequential as each other, where the online world now provides a home for the migrant workers who feel otherwise ‘homeless’. Wang’s fascinating study explores the full range of preconceptions commonly held about Chinese people – their relationship with education, with family, with politics, with ‘home’ – and argues why, for this vast population, it is time to reassess what we think we know about contemporary China and the evolving role of social media.
Based on 15 months of ethnographic research in the city of Alto Hospicio in northern Chile, this book describes how the residents use social media, and the consequences of this use in their daily lives. Nell Haynes argues that social media is a place where Alto Hospicio’s residents – or Hospiceños – express their feelings of marginalisation that result from living in city far from the national capital, and with a notoriously low quality of life compared to other urban areas in Chile. In actively distancing themselves from residents in cities such as Santiago, Hospiceños identify as marginalised citizens, and express a new kind of social norm. Yet Haynes finds that by contrasting their own lived experiences with those of people in metropolitan areas, Hospiceños are strengthening their own sense of community and the sense of normativity that shapes their daily lives. This exciting conclusion is illustrated by the range of social media posts about personal relationships, politics and national citizenship, particularly on Facebook.
China’s distinctive social media platforms have gained notable popularity among the nation’s vast number of internet users, but has China’s countryside been ‘left behind’ in this communication revolution? Tom McDonald spent 15 months living in a small rural Chinese community researching how the residents use social media in their daily lives. His ethnographic findings suggest that, far from being left behind, many rural Chinese people have already integrated social media into their everyday experience. Throughout his ground-breaking study, McDonald argues that social media allows rural people to extend and transform their social relationships by deepening already existing connections with friends known through their school, work or village, while also experimenting with completely new forms of relationships through online interactions with strangers, particularly when looking for love and romance. By juxtaposing these seemingly opposed relations, rural social media users are able to use these technologies to understand, capitalise on and challenge the notions of morality that underlie rural life.
This book is one of the first ethnographic studies to explore the use of social media in the everyday lives of people in Tamil Nadu, a region of South India experiencing rapid change. In the past decade, there has been an influx of IT companies into a space once dominated by agriculture, resulting in a complex juxtaposition between an evolving knowledge economy and the traditions of rural life. This study suggests there is a blurring of boundaries and asserts that the use of various social media platforms in the region, while seeming to induce societal change, also remain bound by local practices influenced by class, age, gender, and caste.
This book presents an ethnographic study of social media in Mardin, a medium-sized town located in the Kurdish region of Turkey. The town is inhabited mainly by Sunni Muslim Arabs and Kurds, and has been transformed in recent years by urbanisation, neoliberalism and political events. Elisabetta Costa uses her 15 months of ethnographic research to explain why public-facing social media is more conservative than offline life. Yet, at the same time, social media has opened up unprecedented possibilities for private communications between genders and in relationships among young people – Costa reveals new worlds of intimacy, love and romance. She also discovers that, when viewed from the perspective of people’s everyday lives, political participation on social media looks very different to how it is portrayed in studies of political postings separated from their original complex, and highly socialised, context.
Drawing on fifteen months of ethnographic research in one of the most under-developed towns on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, this book describes the uses and consequences of social media for the town’s residents. Jolynna Sinanan argues that this semi-urban region is a place in between: somewhere city dwellers look down on but that other villagers look up to. The town’s chief core value asserts that one should not elevate oneself over others, and Sinanan explores how residents carefully navigate social media as a tool for visibility while still advocating against more cosmopolitan values.
While social network analyses often demonstrate the usefulness of social media networks to affective publics and otherwise marginalized social justice groups, this book explores the domination and manipulation of social networks by more powerful political groups. Jeffrey Layne Blevins and James Lee look at the ways in which social media conversations about race turn politically charged, and in many cases, ugly. Studies show that social media is an important venue for news and political information, while focusing national attention on racially involved issues. Perhaps less understood, however, is the effective quality of this discourse, and its connection to popular politics, especially when Twitter trolls and social media mobs go on the attack.
Taking on prominent case studies from the past few years, including the Ferguson protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, the 2016 presidential election, and the rise of fake news, this volume presents data visualization sets alongside careful scholarly analysis. The resulting volume provides new insight into social media, legacy news, and social justice.
Vidding is a well-established remix practice where fans edit an existing film, music video, TV show, or other performance and set it to music of their choosing. Vids emerged forty years ago as a complicated technological feat involving capturing footage from TV with a VCR and syncing with music—and their makers and consumers were almost exclusively women, many of them queer women. The technological challenges of doing this kind of work in the 1970s and 80s when vidding began gave rise to a rich culture of collective work, as well as conventions of creators who gathered to share new work and new techniques. While the rise of personal digital technology eventually made vids simple to create, the collective aspect of the culture grew even stronger with the advent of YouTube, Vimeo, and other channels for sharing work.
Vidding: A History emphasizes vidding as a critical, feminist form of fan practice. Working outward from interviews, VHS liner notes, convention programs, and mailing list archives, Coppa offers a rich history of vidding communities as they evolved from the 1970s through to the present. Built with the classroom in mind, the open-access electronic version of this book includes over one-hundred vids and an appendix that includes additional close readings of vids.
'Trolls for Trump', virtual rape, fake news - social media discourse, including forms of virtual and real violence, has become a formidable, yet elusive, political force. What characterizes online vitriol? How do we understand the narratives generated, and also address their real-world - even life-and-death - impact? How can hatred, bullying, and dehumanization on social media platforms be addressed and countered in a post-truth world? This book unpicks discourses, metaphors, media dynamics, and framing on social media, to begin to answer these questions. Written for and by cultural and media studies scholars, journalists, political philosophers, digital communication professionals, activists and advocates, this book makes the connections between theoretical approaches from cultural and media studies and practical challenges and experiences 'from the field', providing insight into a rough media landscape.