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In the Name of <3: Who Claims Love?
The politics of a pictogram: technology, gender, race and class in the history of the heart symbol
The ubiquitous, benign and seemingly innocuous heart symbol hides a much more complex story than its appearance suggests. The heart is often described as a universal symbol for love, yet its history suggests otherwise; it is closer to a corporate and political medium, embedded with all of the familiar imbalances of class, gender and race.
The symbol developed in the 15th century and became popular in Europe during the 16th century. Until then, the heart shape was not associated with love or any of its current implications: in other words, this apparently eternal image has a history.
In the Name of <3: Who Claims Love? lays bare this fascinatingly fraught and complex history, revealing the intricacies and problems surrounding the heart symbol. In text and images, the book explores how technological, political and historical dominance has impacted the development of communication and our access to (online) information today.