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Access Is Capture: Datafication, Race, and Education

Roderic Crooks

Assistant Professor, Department of Informatics, UC Irvine

The author will share a selection from his forthcoming book, Access Is Capture: Datafication, Race, and Education (University of California Press, 2024). Set in the racially segregated public schools of Los Angeles, where ongoing technological transformation meets the realities of structural inequality, this book demonstrates how an approach centered on so-called digital divides leads educational organizations to prioritize investments in computing infrastructure and, at the same time, to ignore the role of data-intensive computational technologies in structuring and perpetuating racialized inequality. Access is Capture locates the virtue of data-drivenness—as well as the practices that seek to accomplish it—at the intersection of datafication and race.

BIO: Roderic Crooks (he/him) writes about how the use of digital technology by public institutions contributes to the minoritization of working-class communities of color. His current project explores how community organizers in working-class communities of color use data for activist projects, even as they dispute the proliferation of data-intensive computation in education, law enforcement, financial services, and other vital sites of public life. He has published extensively in human-computer interaction (HCI), science and technology studies (STS), and social science venues on topics including political theories of datafication, queer of color critique, and racial formation.