Race, Gender and the Digital Age

Course Code: SOCI 3100

Academic Year: 2021-2022

When the internet was first introduced into homes, it was interpreted as a free space where issues of race and gender, in particular, could be left behind. But the digital reality, from dating and social networking sites to video games and porn, has turned out to be quite different from those idealized predictions. This course attempts to re-introduce the notions of race and gender in the study of the digital world, since visible minorities and women were functionally absent from the internet at precisely the time when its imagery was being cemented in our consciousness. We will commence the course by examining the major debates around race and gender in society. Once an understanding of these concepts is developed, we will examine digital technology in the forms of the internet and mobile technology. In particular, we will examine how race and gender happen online and in the digital world, focusing on how race, gender, and digital technology intersect from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Topics include gender and the digital world, race and the digital world, representations on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and in video games such as Grand Theft Auto and The Sims, and minority women's use of mobile technologies, among others. We will ask: 1) How does race and gender shape digital technologies?; and 2) What gets revealed when we ask questions about race and gender in relation to digital technologies? We will engage with a number of case studies to serve as the foundation for students' own research. Category and Level: Society, Culture and Commerce, Upper Level Restrictions: None Note: Students benefit from taking a lower level course in the Society, Culture and Commerce category prior to enrolling in this upper level course.