Social networking sites and participatory reluctance: A case study of Gaydar, user resistance and interface rejection

Cassidy, Elija (2015) Social networking sites and participatory reluctance: A case study of Gaydar, user resistance and interface rejection. New Media & Society. (In Press)

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This article conceptualises ‘participatory reluctance’ as a particular orientation to social media that problematises binarised notions of connection and disconnection in social networking sites. It qualitatively examines how the concept has functioned within gay men’s social networking service, Gaydar, among 18- to 28-year-old users of the site in Brisbane, Australia. Participatory reluctance is shown to be a central aspect of the culture of this space, fostered among the studied demographic by the convergence of the growing global push for marriage equality and increasing normalisation of the kinds of gay male identities commonly adopted among this group, with three key factors rooted primarily in Gaydar’s design:

(1) young users’ perceptions of the site as a space for procuring casual sex;

(2) their perceptions of the imagined user as embodying existing stereotypes of gay masculinity, and;

(3) a lack of genuine alternatives in terms of niche digital spaces for gay men’s social networking.

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ID Code: 84764
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Gaydar, participatory culture, participatory reluctance, social networking sites
DOI: 10.1177/1461444815590341
ISSN: 1461-7315
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Organisational Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication (200105)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Digital Media Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author
Deposited On: 14 Jun 2015 23:11
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2015 05:47

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