Cybertypes Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet
First published in 2002. In Cybertypes, Lisa Nakamura turn sour assumption that the Net is color-blind on its head. Examining all facets of everyday web-life, she shows that racial and ethnic stereotypes, or 'cybertypes' are hardwired into our online interactions: Identity tourists masquerade in chat rooms as Asian_Geisha or Alatiniolover. Web directories sharply delimit racial categories. Anonymous computer users are assumed to be white. Lively, provocative, Cybertypes takes up computer relationship between race, ethnicity and technology and offers a candid and nuanced understanding of identity in the information age.
"Defying a generation of scholars who have argued that there's no place for race in cyberspace, Lisa Nakamura sets out to find and analyze the cultural work that race and ethnicity do online. Traveling through a fascinating web of online nodes and offline narratives--advertisements for Microsoft and MCI, MUDs, and commercially-driven Web sites, and cyberpunk films and novels, to name a few--Nakamura deftly and engagingly shows us that race happens, both online and within popular discourses portraying online culture. A tour-de-force that can and should blow the doors of cyberculture studies wide open, Cybertypes is the book we've been waiting for." -- David Silver, University of Washington
"Nakamura argues that 'race happens' in cyberspace, and in her book a savvy racial analysis is what's on the menu. With attention to presences, absences, identities, subjectivities, ideologies, and practices in Internet and other cyberspatial zones, Cybertypes shows how 'doing virtuality' is never unmarked. What we get from reading difference with Nakamura is a menu for change, not a recipe for more of the same." -- Donna J. Haraway, University of California at Santa Cruz
"Cybertypes is a simply fascinating examination of how racial ideas changed in the online environment." -- The Bookwatch
"Nakamura strikes a productive balance in tone; her writing is thoughtful yet breezy. It is thorough enough to stand up to the demands of academia, while it resists relying too heavily on the labyrinthine and verbose of critical theory or the obtusely specific jargon of computer technology." -- NYFA Quarterly