Cybertypes Summary

Satisfactory Essays
University of Michigan professor, Lisa Nakamura’s work entitled Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet examines how different races are represented online. The Internet, according to Nakamura, is a place where ‘race happens’ (p.xi), and the stereotypes that are found on/offline define Cybertypes. These Cybertypes lay out the unique ways in which the Internet ‘propagates, disseminates, and commodifies images of race and racism’ (p.3)
After reading the book, I could not help but feel as though I was a tourist that was navigating certain quarters and avenues on the web. I would visit one particular area and move on, exploring and critiquing certain elements on the pages I crossed. In the same way, Nakamura studies race as it is represented in different regions of the web, aiming to remove exclusion from a white dominated world. She critiques an ad that speaks volumes from the New York Times (2000) and says
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She takes a very critical stance, which I definitely side with after reading her critique on the African woman carrying the TV. Advertisements, to Nakamura are to be rejected while on ‘vacation’ on the web so that we can be mindful tourists who allow race to be reclaimed online and are not letting it be shadowed over in niches among ones own people. Tech companies i.e. Compaq, Microsoft, MCI, and IBM portray this McLuhian global village where race is not even something one can be in possession of and users are ‘just minds, all singing the same corporate anthem’ (p.98-99) These villages are termed “global Coca-Colonization of cyberspace” (p.99) where tourists can these ads place the viewer in the position of the tourist . . . [and] the continued presence of stable signifiers of otherness in telecommunications advertising guarantees the Western subject that his position, wherever he may choose to go today, remains privileged.
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