How can one negotiate the gap between the imaginaries of digital society and its technologies as forces of democratization and equality, and the lived experiences of gendered and racialized dispossession, expropriation and inequality? In recent years, this question has become central to a growing body of academic work, which explores the racializing potential of specific digital technologies and data practices that are usually sold as neutral, objective, or even progressive (Apprich et al. 2019; Benjamin 2019; Chun 2021). A spate of recent work on the racial logics of the algorithm (Noble 2018) as well as their role in the rise of the new far right (Daniels 2018) are yet more examples of this approach. Accordingly, what makes both Seb Franklin's The Digitally Disposed and Jonathan Beller's The World Computer interesting contributions to this literature is their shift away from focus on particular practices and technologies...
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Book Review| November 01 2022
The Digital Calculus of Racial Capitalism
The Digitally Disposed: Racial Capitalism and the Informatics of Value, by Seb Franklin,
University of Minnesota Press,
280pages, $108 (hardcover) ISBN: 978-1-5179-0714-3, $27 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-5179-0715-0.
The World Computer: Derivative Conditions of Racial Capitalism, by Jonathan Beller,
Duke University Press,
352pages, $104.95 (hardcover) ISBN: 978-1-4780-1013-5, $28.95 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-4780-1116-3.
Josh Bowsher is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Sussex. His work critically explores the interrelationships between human rights activism and digital capitalism. He is author of The Informational Logic of Human Rights (2022).
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Cultural Politics (2022) 18 (3): 473–479.
Josh Bowsher; The Digital Calculus of Racial Capitalism. Cultural Politics 1 November 2022; 18 (3): 473–479. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-9964913
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