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Title: Sexual networking : new media, identity and sexual citizenship
Author: Mearns, Graeme William
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 8120
Awarding Body: The Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2009
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Responding to a lack of empirical research on a new generation of websites which are orientated towards interaction, this study aims to understand the ways in which sexualised space is constructed through web 2.0.· It does this by analysing the experiences of Turkish-German queers (TGQs) who use the Gayromeo and Delidivane social networking websites. Utilising qualitative data from a web questionnaire survey and both face-to-face and computer-mediated interviews, the study examines the production and consumption of these virtual spaces in light of the difficulties many TGQs are said to experience in their day-to-day lives. This includes racism within gay spaces of consumption, fears of rejection from family and homophobia within a conservative immigrant community. The study demonstrates how these problems are not applicable to the lives of all TGQs and it rejects the emergence of a homogenised 'global gay' identity. It explains instead a multiplicity of identities and heterogeneity to experience. It is argued that the production of personal profiles, usernames and personas can both challenge and reproduce dominant stereotypes. Whilst for some, Gayromeo and Delidivane are a means to assimilation or a pressure to conform; the websites are also central to the formation of alternative spaces in which multiple strands of identity can be expressed and a hybrid (queer) transnational culture celebrated. Furthermore, this study also reveals an online-offline binary in the literature that positions the virtual as being inauthentic against a so-called real. This research challenges this by explaining how the virtual is increasingly being carried within material space on a growing range of web-enabled devices and by describing how sexualised space is increasingly dependent upon the virtual. Consequently, it is argued that there is a greater need to examine how queers engage with web-enabled technologies locally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available