Searching the self in Seoul : trans-youth and urban social networking in Korea
Choi, Jaz Hee-jeong (2009) Searching the self in Seoul : trans-youth and urban social networking in Korea. In Nyíri, Kristóf (Ed.) Engagement and Exposure : Mobile Communication and the Ethics of Social Networking. Passagen Verlag, Vienna, Austria, pp. 121-130.
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This paper presents a brief analysis of Seoul trans-youth’s search for identity through urban social networking, arguing that technological, socio-cultural and environmental (urban) contexts frame how mobility and ubiquity are (re)created in Seoul. The paper is empirically based on fieldwork conducted in Seoul, South Korea, from 2007 to 2008 as part of a research project on the mobile play culture of Seoul trans-youth(a term that will be explained in detail in the following section). Shared Visual Ethnography (SVE) was used as the research method which involved sharing of visual ethnographic data that were created by the participants. More specifically, the participants were asked to take photos, which were then shared and discussed with other participants and the researcher on the photo-sharing service Flickr. The research also involved a questionnaire and daily activity diaries, as well as interviews. A total of 44 Korean transyouths – including 23 females and 21 males – participated in interviews and photo-sharing. The paper draws specifically on the qualitative data from individual and/or group interviews, the total duration of which was 2–2.5 hours for each participant.
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