About No laughing matter: race joking and resistance in Brazilian social media:
Adopting a fresh and innovative perspective, this book examines the social phenomenon of construction and dissemination of racist hate speech on social media platforms fostered against upwardly mobile black women, and oftentimes disguised in disparagement humour. In this book, Dr Trindade explores the idea that online hate speech is not exempt from societal impacts as offenders claim and believe, and that, in fact, disparagement humour reveals the hidden facet of deep-seated colonial ideologies still present in Brazilian society, despite being hailed as a unique model of a post-racial society.
The author argues that these ideologies establish and naturalise superior social positions and symbolic privileges to whites while undermining and delegitimising black women’s upward social mobility. Thus, social media platforms enable the proponents of these beliefs not only to engage in the practice of online hate speech but also to attract a considerable number of like-minded people, creating a long-lasting echo chamber effect in cyberspace. This way, offenders manage to amplify the reach and reverberation of their hateful voices in the online environment in ways not commonly seen in offline social contexts.
Furthermore, given the book title, at first glance, one might jump to the conclusion that this book would be of interest solely to a Brazilian audience, but it is not a fair assumption. The growing phenomenon of online hate speech has been affecting a large number of people in many countries and raising concerns among a broad cohort of stakeholders (e.g., leaders of non-governmental organisations, social activists, policymakers, and human rights advocates, among others).
Within this context, the book contributes to shedding light on the main aspects and characteristics of online hate speech which show similarities across different social contexts and even among different social media platforms. Besides, it also points out ways forward to tackle this worrisome phenomenon.
Consequently, this thought-provoking book is very informative, clearly written and accessible to a wide audience both in academia and beyond, independently of their country of origin.
Finally, the book was also listed among the nominated titles for the 2021 edition of the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize, which honours the best books in sociology.
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