Do you SEE the words coming out of that text?: Seeing Whiteness in Digital Text

Cheryl E Matias


Though texts are commonly perceived as merely written, this article explores texts in a more complex manner: in digital form. First, the paper posits the importance of “reading” digital texts (e.g., social media, films, memes, etc.) and demonstrates how such texts transmit hegemonic ideas about race and whiteness, which ultimately reifies white supremacy in society. Using a variety of critical theories such as critical studies of whiteness and critical theories of race, this article deconstructs digital texts (particularly film and social media) to demonstrate how whiteness gets embedded in digital text in almost invisible ways. Additionally, this article employs Yosso’s (2002) critical race media literacy (CRML) not only to divulge racial stereotypes in digital texts but also to demonstrate how CRML can be pedagogically and metacognitively applied to reveal how whiteness also gets embedded in digital texts. This article serves as a metacognitive model as to how readers can learn to read whiteness within digital texts.


Digital text, media, critical race media literacy, whiteness, pedagogy,

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