Postsocialism and the Tech Boom 2.0

McElroy, Erin. “Postsocialism and the Tech Boom 2.0: Techno-Utopics of Racial/Spatial Dispossession.” Social Identities 24, no. 2 (March 4, 2018): 206–21.

This paper portrays spatial and racial San Francisco Bay Area enactments of dispossession emergent in the wake of the ‘Tech Boom 2.0’, offering a contextual Cold War and postsocialist genealogy. Both the Dot Com Boom and its contemporary successor, I argue, are events only made possible by the cessation of the Cold War, which incited new consumer-driven Silicon Valley models. This facilitated Silicon Valley temporal penetration both into its peripheral urbanities and into formerly Communist space, gentrifying non-Silicon Valley Time and social/political worlds. Such Bay Area urban disruptions have fomented new forms of resistance, despair, and nihilism, all countering techno-utopics of the Tech Boom 2.0. These protests and affective worlds too are haunted by the ghosts of futures past, harkening to futurities beyond narratives of techno-utopic inevitability, globality, and liberalism. Therefore, the oppositional worlds responsive to techno-utopic dissemination too are situated within a postsocialist temporal and spatial geography. As such, I argue that postsocialism, as an analytic, is prerequisite in indexing not only epistemologies surrounding the phenomenon today discoursed as tech-induced gentrification and its global condition, but also, of the social worlds emerging to combat it.