Gay men, Gaydar and the commodification of difference
Light, B, Fletcher, G and Adam, AE 'Gay men, Gaydar and the commodification of difference' , Information Technology and People, 21 (3) , pp. 300-314.
Download (102kB) | Preview
Purpose To investigate ICT mediated inclusion and exclusion in terms of sexuality through a study of a commercial social networking website for gay men Design/methodology/approach The paper uses an approach based on technological inscription and the commodification of difference to study Gaydar, a commercial social networking site. Findings Through the activities, events and interactions offered by Gaydar, we identify a series of contrasting identity constructions and market segmentations which are constructed through the cyclic commodification of difference. These are fuelled by a particular series of meanings attached to gay male sexualities which serve to keep gay men positioned as a niche market. Research limitations/implications The research centres on the study of one, albeit widely used, website with a very specific set of purposes. The study offers a model for future research on sexuality and ICTs. Originality/value This study places sexuality centre stage in an ICT mediated environment and provides insights into the contemporary phenomenon of social networking. As a sexualized object, Gaydar presents a semiosis of politicized messages that question heteronormativity while simultaneously contributing to the definition of an increasingly globalized, commercialized and monolithic form of gay male sexuality defined against ICT.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Gender, communication, homosexuality, internet, ICT, inclusion, exclusion|
|Themes:||Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences|
Subjects / Themes > T Technology
Subjects outside of the University Themes
|Schools:||Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School > Centre for Digital Business|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Information Technology and People|
|Depositing User:||Gordon Fletcher|
|Date Deposited:||10 Sep 2009 16:22|
|Last Modified:||20 Aug 2013 16:59|
|References:||Adam, A., Howcroft, D. and Richardson, H. (2004), "A Decade of Neglect: Reflecting on Gender and IS", New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 222-240. Akrich, M. (1992), "The De-Scription of Technical Objects", in Bijker, W. E. and Law, J. (Eds), Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change, MIT Press, London. Ali, S. (2004), "Using Visual Materials", in Seale, C. (Ed.) Researching Society and Culture, Sage Publications, London. Anderson, B., Gale, C., Gower, A. P., France, E. F., Jones, M. L. R., Lacohee, H. V., McWilliam, A., Tracey, K. and Trimby, M. (2002), "Digital Living: People-Centred Innovation and Strategy", BT Technology Journal, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 11-29. Arvidsson, A. (2006), "'Quality singles': internet dating and the work of fantasy", New Media and Society, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 671-691. Bahney, A. (2006), "Don't Talk to Invisible Strangers", in New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/09/fashion/thursdaystyles/09parents.html, Accessed 26 November 2007. Baym, N.K. (2007), "The New Shape of Online Community: The Example of Swedish Independent Music Fandom", in First Monday, Vol. 12, No. 8, http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_8/baym/ index.html Beasley, C. (2005), Gender and Sexuality: Critical Theories, Critical Thinkers, Sage Publications, London. Binnie, J. (2004), The Globalization of Sexuality, Sage Publications, London. Bolding, G., Davis, M., Sherr, L. and Hart, G. (2004), Use of Gay Internet Sites and Views About Online Health Promotion Among Men Who Have Sex with Men, AIDS Care, 16(8), pp. 993-1001. boyd, d.m. (2008), "Why Youth ♥ Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life", in Buckingham, D. (Ed.) Youth Identity and Digital Media, MIT Press, Cambridge.Campbell, J. E. (2005), "Outing PlanetOut: Surveillance, Gay Marketing and Internet Affinity Portals", New Media and Society, Vol. 7, No. 5, pp. 663-683. Carter, D. (2005), "Living in Virtual Communities: An Ethnography of Human Relationships in Cyberspace", Information Communication and Society, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 148-167. Chasin, A. (2000), Selling Out: The Gay and Lesbian Movement Goes to Market, St Martin's Press, New York. Cranny-Francis, A., Waring, W., Stavropouos, P. and Kirkby, J. (2003), Gender Studies: Terms and Debates, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. Davis K., Evans, M. and Lorber, J. (2006), Handbook of Gender and Women’s Studies, Sage, London. Donath, J. (2007), "Signals in Social Supernets", Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 13, No. 1, http://jcmc.indiana.edu. Ess, C. and AoIR Ethics Working Commitee (2002), "Ethical Decision-Making and Internet Research: Recommendations from the AOIR Ethics Working Committee, Approved 27 November 2002.", www.aoir.org/reports/ethics.pdf, Accessed 1 November 2005. Faulkner, W. (2002), "The Power and the Pleasure? A Research Agenda for 'Making Gender Stick'", Science, Technology and Human Values, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 87-119. Fernback, J. and Papacharissi, Z. (2007), "Online Privacy as Legal Safeguard: The Relationship Among Consumer, Online Portal, and Privacy Policies", New Media and Society, Vol. 9, No. 5, pp. 715-734. Fleck, J. (1994), "Learning by Trying: The Implementation of Configurational Technology", Research Policy, Vol. 23, No. 6, pp. 637-652. Fletcher, G. and Light, B. (2007), “Going Offline: An Exploratory Cultural Artifact Analysis of an Internet Dating Site's Development Trajectories”, International Journal of Information Management, Vol. 27, No. 6, pp. 422-431. Fox News (2007), "Creator of MySpace Sex Offender Database is Excop, Data Expert", http://www.sentryweb.com/articles/myspacefox.pdf, Accessed 28 October 2007. Guaracino, J. (2007), Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide For Marketing, Butterworth- Heinemann Boston. Halberstam, J. (2003), "What's That Smell? Queer Temporalities and Subcultural Lives", International Journal Of Cultural Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 313-333. Hargittai, E. (2007). "Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social Network Sites." Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 13, No. 1, http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/ hargittai.html Kendall, L. (2007), "“Shout Into the Wind, and It Shouts Back” Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal ", in First Monday, Vol. 12, No. 9, http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_9/kendall/index.html. Lane, F. (2000), Obscene Profits, Routledge, London. Lange, P. G. (2007). "Publicly Private and Privately Public: Social Networking on YouTube." Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 13, No. 1, http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/lange.html. Larsen, M. C. (2007), "Understanding Social Networking: On Young People's Construction and Coconstruction of Identity Online", in Paper Presented at The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Annual Conference Montreal, Canada. Latour, B. (1997), “Where are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts.” in Bijker, W. E. and Law, J. (Eds), Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change, MIT Press, London. Light, B. (2007), “Introducing Masculinity Studies to Information Systems Research: the Case of Gaydar”, European Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 16, No. 5, pp. 658-665. Livia, A. (2002), "Public and Clandestine: Gay Men's Pseudonyms on the French Minitel", Sexualities, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 201-217. Magnet, S. (2007), "Feminist Sexualities, Race and the Internet: An Investigation of Suicidegirls.com", New Media and Society, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 577-602. Myers, M., D. (1999), "Investigating Information Systems with Ethnographic Research", Communications of the Association for Information Systems, http://cais.aisnet.org/, Vol. 2, No. 23, pp. 1-20. Person, E. S. (1980), “Sexuality as the Mainstay of Identity: Psychoanalytic Perspectives”, Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 5(4), pp.605-30. Rogers, A. (2005), "Men's Magazines and the Mastering of Intimacy", Men and Masculinities, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 175-194. Röhle, T. (2007), "Desperately Seeking the Consumer: Personalized Search Engines and the Commercial Exploitation of User Data ", in First Monday, Vol. 12, No. 9, http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_9/rohle/index.html Rubin, G. (1984), "Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality", in Vance, C. S. (Ed.) Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, Routledge and Kegan Paul, New York. Spitz, D. and Hunter, S. D. (2005), "Contested Codes: The Social Construction of Napster", The Information Society, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 169-180. Stewart, J. and Williams, R. (2005), "The Wrong Trousers? Beyond the Design Fallacy: Social Learning and the User", in Rohracher, H. (Ed.) User Involvement in Innovation Processes: Strategies and Limitations from a Socio-Technical Perspective, Profil, Wien. Sunday Times (2006), “Downloading Mr Right”, Sunday Times Magazine, 15 January, pp. 18-25. Wajcman, J. (1991), Feminism Confronts Technology, Polity Press, Oxford. Walsham, G. (2000), "Globalization and IT: Agenda for Research", in Baskerville, R., Stage, J. and De Gross, J. I. (Eds), Organizational and Social Perspectives on Research and Practice in Information Technology, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston. Weeks, J. (1985), Sexuality and its Discontents: Meanings, Myths and Modern Sexualities, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London. Wellman, B. (1996), "Are Personal Communities Local? A Dumptarian Consideration", Social Networks, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 347-354. boyd, d. m. (2006), "Friends, Friendsters, and Top 8: Writing Community Into Being on Social Network Sites", in First Monday, Vol. 11, No. 12, http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue11_12/boyd/index.html boyd, d. m., Finkelhor, D., Lenhart, A., Lordan, T. and Ybarra, M. (2007), "Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization: Researchers Present the Facts and Debunk Myths, Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, 5 March", http://www.netcaucus.org/events/2007/youth/20070503transcript.pdf, Accessed 27 November 2007. Brownlow, C. and O'Dell, L. (2002), "Ethical Issues for Qualitative Research in On-line Communities", Disability and Society, Vol. 17, No. 6, pp. 685-694.|
Document DownloadsMore statistics for this item...
Actions (login required)
|Edit record (repository staff only)|