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Title: Digital queer spaces : interrogating identity, belonging and nationalism in contemporary India
Author: Dasgupta, Rohit K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 8756
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2016
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Contemporary Indian sexual identities are constructed out of the multiple effects of tradition, modernity, globalisation and colonialism. The nation as we understand it is constructed on the basis of a commonality which ‘binds’ its citizens, and also banishes and expels those who do not conform to this commonality. Within this logic of disenfranchisement I firmly place the Indian queer male. This thesis examines the online ‘queer’ male community in India that has been formed as a result of the intersection and ruptures caused by the shifting political, media and social landscapes of urban India. Through multi-sited ethnography looking at the role of language, class, intimacy and queer activism, this thesis explores the various ways through which queer men engage with digital culture that has become an integral part of queer lives in India. Through this approach, this thesis makes a significant contribution to knowledge. Widely available scholarship has explored the historical, literary and social debates on queer sexualities in India. To reach a more holistic understanding of contemporary Indian queer sexualities it is necessary to engage with the digital landscape, as India’s global power stems from its digital development. By looking at the multiple ways that the queer male community engages with the digital medium, I illustrate the multifaceted, complex and sometimes contradictory ways in which this community understands, accesses and performs their sexual identities within both the context of the nation and their local space. This thesis combines textual and visual analysis along with ethnographic data collected through field research in India using multiple research sites including online forums and digital spaces such as Planet Romeo, Facebook groups and Grindr as well as engaging with individuals in offline spaces (New Delhi, Kolkata, Barasat). Studying digital queer spaces across several research sites especially a cross-ethnic and cross-social comparison is unusual in this field of study and produces new insights into the subjects explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Other Asian Society and Culture studies