“Ni de Aquí, Ni de Allá”: An Exploration of Voice, Visibility, And Latinx Communities on Reddit
thesisposted on 01.12.2021, 00:00 authored by Melina Azucena Garcia
Situated within a sociotechnical, critical race, and technoculture understanding, this thesis explores the extent to which Web 2.0 applications afford marginalized communities a voice. Specifically, this study conducted a case study on Reddit’s Latinx community to examine the extent to which it is able to establish, maintain, and promote its own networked public. As demonstrated by previous scholars, online collective identities materialize at the intersection of a platform’s architecture, affordances, and participatory culture. These collective identities are shaped by the white hegemonic norms that are enlaced and embedded in the internet’s materiality. Although shaped by white hegemonic norms, these identities are not fixed within whiteness. The history of race and ethnicity in online communities reveals that Web 2.0 applications afford users the ability to navigate a fluid relationship to whiteness. Therefore, racial and ethnic minorities are able to establish identities that are not within but in relation to whiteness. To understand the relation to whiteness that frames Reddit’s Latinx identity, this thesis applies networked gatekeeping as its main methodological framework and digital-race assemblages as its main analytical lens. This study finds that the prominent actors of Reddit’s Latinx identity navigate not only the white hegemonic norms that are embedded in the materiality of the digital sphere but also the norms that are popular on Reddit and those of the Latinx community. Ultimately, this thesis captures the liminal nature of Latinx identity, or as what Latinx people commonly express as “ni de aquí, ni de allá”.