What Communities Are We Building? A Discussion With Drs. Jessie Daniels and David Golumbia

This semester our sociology honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta, had the great fortune to hear from Dr. Jessie Daniels. Jessie is a sociologist whose expertise is in, among many things, the diffusion of racist ideologies and white nationalist groups on the internet.

As part of that event, Jessie sat down for an informal discussion with Dr. David Golumbia and me to talk about this moment we are living. The moment can generally be described as the post-Trump society. We discussed a few things but we all shared the notion that the “post-Trump” moment is more historically contingent than often described in popular media. There is a lot of emerging research finding the same thing. This great paper from Maureen Craig and Jennifer Richeson is one example:

When we say Trumpism is the now moment but “now” is historically contingent, we mean that a society that elected Donald Trump the way in which he was elected, and is now governing, came from somewhere. The moment can have some distinct characteristics but it is also part of a pattern of social, political, economic and cultural events.

Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing some especially salient excerpts from this free-wheeling conversation with Jessie Daniels.

The first up is one of the big questions for the digital society: how did the internet become so central to this moment and what does that mean for how important these platforms will be post-Trump?

Dr. David Golumbia says Facebook’s idea that it “builds communities” overlooks the fact that white nationalists are also a community:

Jessie talks more about how this rhetoric of inclusion on our digital platforms obscures the vital role of politics in how the internet shapes our social processes:

Learn more about how our faculty and students are tackling some of these paradoxes at digital.sociology.vcu.edu.

*Lauren Payton, a graduate student in Sociology at VCU, produced all the media from this event.

Digital Sociology at VCU

The Digital Sociology Magazine is the public-facing community of the digital sociology program in the Department of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. We study intersecting inequalities in the digital society. http://digital.sociology.vcu.edu

Tressie McMillan Cottom

Written by

Award-winning sociologist, professor, and writer. Faculty associate at Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Newest book, THICK, out now. www.ThickTheBook.com

Digital Sociology at VCU

The Digital Sociology Magazine is the public-facing community of the digital sociology program in the Department of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. We study intersecting inequalities in the digital society. http://digital.sociology.vcu.edu

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