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Race, Technology, and Justice


Brian Jefferson writes that "criminalization in the age of digital computation does not signify a new cultural logic so much as it performs an upgrade of entrenched modes of social differentiation and dominance. Modernity’s racial taxonomies are not vanishing through computerization; they have just been imported into data arrays. The digitization of criminal records allows authorities to essentialize individuals using well-worn ethnoracial categories." (Digitize and Punish, 6). And, as was noted in the page on Big Data, by importing these racial taxonomies into data arrays it gives the veneer of neutrality and of "fairness," when, in fact, it reinforces and even strengthens underlying racist policies and assumptions.

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