Cultural appropriations of technical capital: Black women, weblogs, and the digital divide

André Brock, Lynette Kvasny, Kayla Hales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The aim of this paper is to use cultural and technical capital as a sensitizing framework for exploring novel ways of thinking about information and communication technology and social inequalities. This paper takes a particular focus on three weblogs in which women of different ages, social classes, and races constructed discourses on Black womanhood. The participants employed their personal experiences, structural analyses of racism and sexism, media criticism, and aesthetic arguments about Black women's worth, beauty, and value to articulate their vision of Black womanhood. In earlier times, these conversations would have taken place in beauty salons, or other gendered spaces where these conversations could proceed unknown to broader society. In today's information society, these conversations have spilled over to the Internet. It is our contention that this phenomenon - the articulation of cultural capital mediated through technical prowess - is a strong argument against the deficit models of minority information and communication technology use promoted by digital divide research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1040-1059
Number of pages20
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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