Understanding race relations within the Tumblr role-play community

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ena Prskalo (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Sarah Daynes

Abstract: The occupants of the online world cannot typically see the physical attributes of other users and therefore embrace alternative methods to make sense of another person’s identity. Through the process of assuming and assigning identity, users rely on and carry over offline racialized attitudes, actions, and beliefs into digital domains, thus further perpetuating racism. Racism persists in online spaces that are typically social justice oriented and populated by marginalized groups. Specifically, the Tumblr role-play community perpetuates both covert and overt forms of racism through out of character and fictional interactions. Through online ethnography, the content analysis of callout posts relating to the topic of race, and interviews with role-players of color, categories arose to reveal the extensive amount of racial exclusion, slur usage, reliance on racial stereotypes, and colorblindness that exists within a population reputed for its seemingly inclusive stance. This research invites further inquiry and examination of methods needed to interrupt the continuous trend of inequality as it occurs offline, online, and through fiction.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Digital Sociology, Online Communities, Racism, Role-Play, White Fragility
Tumblr (Electronic resource)
Role playing
Online social networks

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