Social media and new racism

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Social media is changing everyday life and lives but how these changes are enacted in relation to race and racism is an emerging field of social research. Our goal is to advance research in this field by examining the ways in which everyday racism in public commentaries on on-line news articles are creating new intersecting matrixes of racialization and racism. Our argument draws on an analysis of on-line commentaries about ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. Research testifies that ethnic minorities in Hong Kong encounter racism in almost every aspect of their daily lives including education, employment, accommodation, financial services, transportation services, retail and personal services, catering services, and medical services. However, to date little effort has been given to understand racism in everyday race-related conversations in social media. We examine these drawing on a number of conceptual and theoretical frameworks including racial microagressions (Sue et al., 2007), aversive racism (Dovidio, Gaertner, & Kawakami, 2000), symbolic racism (Sears, 1988), and modern racism (McConahay, 1986). More than 2000 public commentaries in about 200 online news articles related to ethnic minorities, published in a leading English newspaper in Hong Kong between 2012 and 2018, are qualitatively analyzed. We argue that social media is disrupting our lives in many ways including race-related interactions and conversations. At the same time, such data provides opportunities to elucidate the operation of racisms in the organic, uncontrolled environments of social media. Utilizing such data sources, we propose, are the sorts of methodological disruptions needed to understand new forms of racialization and racism in our changing, technology-driven world. Copyright © 2019 AERA.


Conference2019 Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association: Leveraging Education Research in a “Post-Truth” Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence
Abbreviated titleAERA 2019
Internet address


Bhowmik, M. K. (2019, April). Social media and new racism. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2019 Annual Meeting, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada.


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