Digital technologies are proliferating and transforming racism, complicating our understanding, and making contemporary racism increasingly harder to challenge. Digital racism takes many forms, such as viral memes circulating via social media platforms; the swarming of networked users targeting people of colour; hidden algorithmic classification and sorting; and the racial profiling of policing and surveillance systems. The variance and complexity of technologically mediated racisms begs the question of whether adequate attention has been paid to digital processes and environments through which race materializes.
Understanding Digital Racism analyzes the digital realm as a race-making technology, by exploring the rise, dissemination, and evolution of contemporary racism. Sanjay Sharma offers an innovative approach for understanding how racism─as informational and im/material post-racial phenomena─is manifested and remade through digital technologies. Digital racism is grasped through foregrounding the sociotechnical entanglements of racism and digital technologies. An analysis of networked relations, information flows, subjectivation and affects are critical to addressing the production of digital racism.
Sanjay Sharma is an associate professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, UK. His research critically interrogates how existing and new forms of biopolitical control are constituted via digital technologies, media and culture. He has published widely on the intersections of race, technology and power, by grasping how race and racism are emergent digital phenomena, mutating through entanglements with networked relations, algorithmic profiling, datafication, platform architectures and economies.
Part I Networks
Part II Algorithms
Part III Scale
About the Author
In Understanding Digital Racism, Sanjay Sharma has composed a terrifically insightful analysis of the extensions and transformations in racism as a result of digital technology. Sharma focuses on how its driving architecture—networks, algorithms, and scale—embeds, reproduces, but also "charges" new expressions of racist culture and a postracial techno-sociality of control. A book, as a result, that importantly advances understanding of the framing and shaping of contemporary technologies of racism, in turn informing research, teaching, and activism.
Understanding Digital Racism uniquely examines the emergence, propagation, and mutation of digital racism, delving into the racial logics of contemporary digital culture. This remarkable book provides a nuanced understanding of digital racism, while simultaneously offering interdisciplinary insights into combating this pervasive socio-technical phenomena. Sharma’s approach is theoretically rich through his conception of digital racism as “assemblages,” but also fearless in unpacking real-world implications. This is a must-read for scholars and researchers seeking to confront the complexities of contemporary digital racism.