Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cybercultural Studies

In the conclusion of her book Cybertypes, Lisa Nakamura asks, “Who gets to speak about cyberspace? Who gets to speak in cyberspace? Who wants to speak about it? Who is trained to produce scholarly work in cyberculture? What kind of scholarly work has shaped the field today, such as it is? Are there racial ‘digital divides,’ or institutionalized inequities in access, resources, and cultural/academic capital, that obtain both inside cyberspace and in the field of cyberculture studies? Whose ideas have power? Whose discourse is privileged? And why haven’t these questions been asked before?”* (This statement is somehow reminiscent of Gayatri Chakavorty Spivak's "Can the Subaltern Speak?" to me.) Nakamura puts forth many of the questions that I have grappled with as an academic who is conducting research in cyberspace. I have made efforts to address many of these issues in my project, but I am also writing from my own standpoint. I think that it is important to ask for a "reality check" every once in a while. So, how am I doing as a feminist researcher studying the feminist blogosphere? And what are you thoughts on the politics of cyberculture studies?

*Nakamura, Lisa. Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet. New York: Routledge, 2002.

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