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Title:Race, the Internet, and the Hurricane: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Black Identity Online During the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Author(s):Brock, Andre
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Haythornthwaite, Caroline
Department / Program:Library and Information Science
Discipline:Library and Information Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Black Studies
Abstract:The Internet, in its incarnation as the World Wide Web, is a network of social and cultural sites. Black Americans ("Blacks") lag behind other ethnic groups in their adoption of the Internet. Previous research speculated that this was due to the Black communities' difficulty in obtaining equipment or training to use the Web's resources. An emerging strand in digital divide research, argues that groups avoid the Internet because it does not fulfill information needs, including a lack of cultural resources. This research examines how cultural resources, such as racial identity, are constructed on the Web to order to expand research into Black Web use. This dissertation employs Goffman's (1959) dramaturgical theory of identity to frame the way websites produce an online identity. When Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans in 2005, Blacks in New Orleans were a major topic of conversation on the Web, in media sites and on personal sites such as blogs. Some topics were Blacks as looters, Blacks as refugees, and in an associated event, the Black response to government inaction as captured by the remarks of rapper Kanye West. This dissertation analyzes content on Black websites following Hurricane Katrina's landfall, utilizing W.E.B. DuBois' observations of Black identity as a cultural lens. This research uncovered a wide range of political and economic views about Black existence in America, centered upon a common articulation of Black identity.
Issue Date:2007
Description:182 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3290185
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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