Research Online


Goldsmiths - University of London

The rationalizing/racializing logic of capital in cultural production

Saha, Anamik. 2016. The rationalizing/racializing logic of capital in cultural production. Media Industries, 3(1), pp. 1-16. [Article]

[img] Text
rationalizing_racializing logic of capital_revisions.docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (819kB)

Abstract or Description

This paper introduces the concept of the ‘rationalizing/racializing logic of capital’ as a new form of racial governance. This is most evident in cultural production, where the techniques of rationalization - and in particular, the uses of data - that characterize media industry practices produces racializing effects, transforming the potentially disruptive texts of minority producers into absolute ethnic difference. To illustrate this the article presents an empirical study into the experiences of British South Asian authors in the publishing industry. It focuses on the use of a point-of-sale technology called BookScan, which, it is shown, is the means through which Asian authors come to be pigeon-holed by their ethnicity, and subsequently grouped together, impeding their ability to reach wider audiences. In this way the rationalizing/racializing logic of capital represents a new form of racialized governmentality that attempts to manage the counter-narratives of difference as they appear in cultural commodities.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Race, Orientalism, Publishing, BookScan, Big Data

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media and Communications


8 June 2016Published
6 July 2015Submitted
22 September 2015Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2016 11:45

Last Modified:

07 Mar 2019 15:19

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)