Race and Ethnicity in Digital Culture
Our Changing Traditions, Impressions, and Expressions in a Mediated World
by Anthony Bak Buccitelli, Editor
November 2017, 416pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
2 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4062-3
$160, £124, 140€, A220
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4063-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

More and more, digital personas—rather than real social identities—influence online behaviors in virtual communities today.

In this unprecedented study, leading scholars and emerging voices from around the world consider how race and ethnicity continue to shape our everyday lives, even as digital technology seems to promise a release from our “real” social identities.

How do people use the new expressive features of digital technologies to experience, represent, discuss, and debate racial and ethnic identity? How have digital technologies or digital spaces become racialized? How have the existing vernacular traditions, or folklore, surrounding identity been reshaped in digital spaces? And how have new traditions emerged? This interdisciplinary volume of essays explores the role of traditional culture in the evolving expressions, practices, and images of race and ethnicity in the digital age. The work examines cultural forms in exclusively digital environments as well as in the hybrid environments created by mobile technologies, where real life becomes overlaid with digital content.

Insights from academics across disciplines—including anthropology, communications, folkloristics, art, and sociology—consider the interplay between race/ethnicity, everyday vernacular culture, and digital technologies. Six sections explore traditional cultural affordances of technology, folklore and digital applications, visual cultures of race and ethnicity, racism and exclusion online, political activism and race, and concluding observations. The book covers technologies such as vlogs, video games, digital photography, messaging applications, social media sites, and the Internet.


  • Reveals how “memes” and “viral videos” represent, discuss, or negotiate ideas about racial and ethnic identity
  • Discusses how the human body is racialized in digital image, video, and photography, and how technologies and digital spaces themselves come to be racialized
  • Examines the interplay of digital narratives with political movements for civil rights and social justice
  • Explores patterns and practices of racist and xenophobic exclusion in both online and offline spaces
Anthony Bak Buccitelli, PhD, is assistant professor of American studies and communications as well as director of the Center for Holocaust and Jewish Studies at Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg. His published works include City of Neighborhoods: Memory, Folklore, and Ethnic Place in Boston as well as essays in Journal of American Folklore, Oral History, Culture and Religion, and Western Folklore, among other journals. His research and teaching specializations include digital culture, the history of technology, folk narrative, festive culture, space and place, race and ethnicity, and urban history and culture. Buccitelli holds a doctorate in American and New England studies from Boston University and a master's degree in folklore from the University of California, Berkeley.
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