Seeking panelists for 2013 American Studies Association conference session on Social Welfare and New Media Technologies (e.g. smartphone apps, browser games, Facebook). Calls for “social entrepreneurship” and “innovative,” market-based approaches to social welfare emerged increasingly throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as neoliberal attacks on redistributive welfare policy succeeded in dismantling the already-meager safety net for impoverished families in the U.S. These calls have recently been answered by companies and organizations who look to new media technologies, such as social networking web sites, mobile and smartphone capabilities, and online gaming, to meet various perceived needs among target “disadvantaged” or “at-risk” populations. These technologies are frequently viewed as efficient, cost-effective, flexible, personalized, and democratizing, spreading information and resources in a quick, fun, easily accessible, and even profitable fashion. This session investigates the implications of these new tactics.
What do these approaches to social welfare ultimately accomplish or distribute? How do they function as tools for disciplining individuals and tabulating demographic data? What is their relationship to old and new definitions of a social “safety net”? How are they informed by and shaping new structures of citizenship that obscure and deepen inequalities based on race, class, sexuality, and gender?
Please submit an abstract (300 words) and CV to Clare Daniel (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 1, 2013.
University of New Mexico
email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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