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Politics and Identity in Digital Geographies 2

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Digital Geographies Specialty Group
Organizers: Emma Slager, Will Payne, Casey Lynch
Chairs: Will Payne


Within the broader "digital turn" (Ash, Kitchin, and Leszczynski, 2018) in geography over the past several years, scholars have investigated how emerging digital systems re-organize relationships of power, creating both new constraints and possibilities for political action. State and corporate actors enroll various forms of algorithmic decision-making and data-based governance work to securitize against potential futures deemed undesirable, while making possible new forms of centralized control and targeted intervention in social life (Amoore and Raley, 2017; Leszczynski, 2016; Marvin and Luque-Ayala, 2017). Although each generation of technology industry hype touts the ability for new forms of connection to liberate and unite social groups, digital communications and media technologies have increasingly supported emerging reactionary populist digital spaces, from alt-right cultural geographies (Hodge and Hallgrimsdottir 2019) to suburban-style segregation online (Banks 2019). At the same time, access to and control over digital technologies are seen as a potential site of political struggle, with scholars highlighting possibilities for alternative digital futures based on postcapitalist logics (Lynch, 2019; Gerhardt, 2019).

Others have focused on the ways digital technologies re-shape existing and produce new categories of identity and difference. Elwood and Leszczynski (2018) have called for feminist digital geographies, highlighting how engagements between digital studies and feminist, queer, and critical race theory are "generating significant new insight into contemporary digital mediations of complex bodies, lives, places, politics, economies and socialities in ways that challenge longstanding disciplinary exclusions" (p. 630). For instance, Jefferson (2018) explores how emerging forms of data-driven crime mapping in Chicago intensify and rationalize ongoing practices of racialized policing, granting them a "scientific" basis. In another example, Jenzen (2017) examines how trans youth engage with digital social media to challenge cis and binary identity norms and generate new practices of community formation, peer education, and activism.

This series of sessions brings together papers that explore topics including digital technology and the production of new subjectivities; race, gender, sexuality, age, class, and ability in digital geographies;digital productions of counterpublics and activism in the digital era; the politics of surveillance and privacy; and emerging online political spaces of every valence.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Emma Slager*, University of Washington - Tacoma, Where Freedom Dreams Meet Sociotechnical Imaginaries 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Shannon Black*, University of Toronto, Visualizing change: on-line representation and resistance in the North American hand knitting industry 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Will Payne*, University of California - Berkeley, Weathering the Review Storm: Location-Based Services and Political Discourse 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Jason Luger*, University of California - Berkeley, Digital Heartlands, Suburban Authoritarians 15 12:00 AM
Discussant Casey Lynch University of Nevada - Reno 15 12:00 AM

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