With this week’s focus being on race and gender in digital spaces, I got really excited as this is the area that I always gravitate towards in my communication studies. One of the readings that myself and two others led discussion on talked about the ways in which representation does (or does not) take place within digital production. Articles like this are so important as they help to shed light on how misconstrued our ideas of representation might be, or just how little effort is being made both behind the camera and whilst acting.
I really liked how Erigha’s article broke down the types of cultural representation into numerical, quality and centrality. This really helped to better understand the ideas at hand. In class, we touched on the ways in which we’re beginning to make strides and be more intentional about the roles in which actors earn, there is still much more discussion that needs to take place about the representation that takes place behind the camera. It’s easy to overlook this as it’s not something viewers immediately think of, but is definitely crucial when looking into representation.
I also really loved Safiya’s discussion of the ‘Algorithms of Oppression’ that take place in digital spaces. This is a concept that myself, and so many others are not as familiar with since we don’t have as concrete of an understanding of how algorithms work. But, I do think people ought to take it upon themselves to thoroughly do their research and not take every headline or internet search result at face value; it’s important to make sure that we are acting as informed internet users.
Noble, Safiya Umoja. “Challenging the Algorithms of Oppression.” https://youtu.be/iRVZozEEWlE
Erigha, Maryann. “Race, Gender, Hollywood: Representation in Cultural Production and Digital Media’s Potential for Change.” Sociology Compass 9, no. 1 (2015): 78-89. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/soc4.12237