U.S. Operating at Mid-Century
I wasn’t sure how to begin this second post if I didn’t understand what these racial formations where and the organizations of social relations. I did a little google search and found that racial formations is “an analytical tool in sociology, developed by Michael Omi and Howard Winan which is used to look at race as a socially constructed identity.” This then connects with the idea of organizing principles which can be summed up to a central reference point that allows all other to be located. After my google search I came to the conclusion that to say that racial formations do not form fundamental organizing principles of social relations in the United States would be like saying that slavery did not exist.
Now lets look at what McPherson who cites Omi and Winant’s argument but before she does, she states that, “certain modes of racial visibility and knowing coincide or dovetail with specific ways of organizing data: if digital computing underwrites today’s information economy and is the central technology of post-World War II America, these technologized ways of seeing/knowing took shape in a world also struggling with shifting knowledges about and representations of race” (24). So how can we talk about this in a micro and macro level.
“How might we understand the infusion of racial organizing principles into the technological organization of knowledge after World War II?” To begin with, the beginning of the digital world began with during the time that there was a lot of cultural historical moments that out shined the technological organizations being formed. Organizations that were in a macro level predominantly white males already leaving behind, in these technological advances, women and people of color. In a more micro level we could discuss the few people who were of color or women who were involved but only had certain tasks. Today post World War II we can talk about racial issues within digital space or technological organization of knowledge having its roots in race. Having at the center knowledge that they have and that others do not have and then distributing it the way they want to allowing for things to fall into place to their advantage. This leads to the idea that the activist does not know how to code because there is a knowledge gap between those who can code but don’t care about race issues.
In page 35 they talk about our need for to get out of our small field-based boxes and normalize what we study. This reminds me of WSU in a the sense that a lot of the engineering programs being white male dominated. Which then we can go back to the idea of a macro level, because it is white males who lead the engineering industry, they are the ones making big decisions and acquiring managerial knowledge that people of color do not have. This goes back to the knowledge gap in the 60’s between the racial issues and technological organizations being formed.