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Über dieses Buch

This book examines the role of hook-up apps in the lives of gay, bi, trans, and queer immigrants and refugees, and how the online culture of these platforms promotes belonging or exclusion. Within the context of the so-called European refugee crisis, this research focuses on the experiences of immigrants from especially Muslim-majority countries to the greater Copenhagen area, a region known for both its progressive ideologies and its anti-immigrant practices. Grindr and similar platforms connect newcomers with not only dates and sex, but also friends, roommates and other logistical contacts. But these socio-sexual platforms also become spaces of racialization and othering. Weaving together analyses of real Grindr profile texts, immigrant narratives, political rhetoric, and popular media, Immigrants on Grindr provides an in-depth look at the complex interplay between online and offline cultures, and between technology and society.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. “We all have a responsibility… to save them”: Immigrants, Gays, and Those Caught in Between

Abstract
Immigrants on Grindr takes place in northwest Europe from 2015 to 2019, when public debates about immigration and the “refugee crisis” became increasingly intertwined with the topic of sexuality. Nativist politicians strategically linked (particularly Muslim) immigrants to homophobia; and if they mentioned LGBTQ immigrants at all, they did so to confirm the image that northwest Europe is tolerant of sexual and gender minorities, while immigrants and Muslims are oppressive. LGBTQ immigrants, however, identified other concerns in Europe, including racism in white-majority spaces, both offline and online. Immigrants on Grindr focuses on newcomers in the greater Copenhagen area and their experiences connecting with locals via social-networking “apps” geared mainly at gay and bi men, and some trans and queer people, such as Grindr. Profile texts, interviews with recent immigrants, and public discussions guide the book.
Andrew DJ Shield

Chapter 2. “The glittering future of a new invention”: Historicizing Grindr Culture

Abstract
“Grindr Studies” has emerged as an academic field and examines the cultural practices of especially gay men “on app,” including topics like self-presentation strategies, online/offline dynamics, and sexual racism. Grindr research builds upon decades of scholarly inquiries into online cultures, including studies of digital queer subcultures and online racism. In this chapter, Shield weaves together his own personal experiences in digital spaces for primarily gay men since the 1990s with the contemporaneous scholarly literature on gay sexuality and race online.
Andrew DJ Shield

Chapter 3. “Remember that if you choose to include information in your public profile … that information will also become public”: Methods and Ethics for Online, Socio-Sexual Fieldwork

Abstract
Scholars who conduct new research via and about socio-sexual platforms like Grindr have a wealth of information at their fingertips, but also many ethical dilemmas. The first half of the chapter presents tips and considerations for scholars who gather quantitative and qualitative data—such as about users’ responses to drop-down menus, or trends in self-presentation—via covert participant observation. The second half of the chapter explores the method of interviewee recruitment via socio-sexual platforms and encourages scholars to consider the effects of announcing themselves in an online field. Ethnographers must also reflect on how their own subject positions affect the recruitment and interview processes.
Andrew DJ Shield

Chapter 4. “I was staying at the camp, and I met this guy on Grindr, and he asked me to move in with him”: Tourists, Immigrants, and Logistical Uses of Socio-Sexual Media

Abstract
The first of the three analytic chapters establishes that newcomers are optimistic about using platforms geared at gay, bi, trans, and queer people, such as Grindr, to build networks with locals. These online/offline networks can be platonic (such as for friendship) and also logistical, as newcomers search for jobs, housing, and local information via their profile texts and personal chats. Platforms like Grindr also have an undeniably sexual online culture, and sometimes the lines between social, logistical, and sexual requests (or offers) are not clear. Theories of gay cosmopolitan tourism and queer migration guide the chapter’s argument that not all newcomers experience online socio-sexual cultures equally. Many immigrants have been more successful connecting with other immigrants than with European locals, whether for friendship, sex, or logistical purposes.
Andrew DJ Shield

Chapter 5. “Tend to prefer sane, masculine, caucasian (no offense to other flavours though)”: Racial-Sexual Preferences, Entitlement, and Everyday Racism

Abstract
The second analytic chapter centers on interviewees’ encounters with racism and Islamophobia online, and identifies “racism on Grindr” as a gamut of recurring speech patterns that circulate on the platform. These patterns include persistent questions of origin, racial-sexual exclusions (e.g. “No Asians”), racial-sexual fetishes, links between immigrants and economic opportunism, and insults directed at a user’s race, nationality, or perceived religion. Encounters with racist speech are central to many immigrants’ experiences on socio-sexual platforms, and prompt some users to challenge hegemonic discourses on app.
Andrew DJ Shield

Chapter 6. “White is a color, Middle Eastern is not a color”: Drop-Down Menus, Racial Identification, and the Weight of Labels

Abstract
Having established that race- and ethnicity-related discourses circulate on Grindr, this final analytic chapter scrutinizes the technology itself (i.e. Grindr) for its role in encouraging conceptions of and discourses about race. Like many other socio-sexual platforms, Grindr highlights “ethnicity” (really meaning race) on its platform as a primary way for users to define themselves, and provides a limited set of drop-down options. These drop-down menus afford other users the possibility to conduct race-selective searches. The first half of the chapter historicizes and critiques Grindr’s “ethnicity” menu options, and argues that its categories are based largely in a U.S. American understanding of racial difference. The second half elaborates on how and why users negotiate, challenge, or reject the menu and its options.
Andrew DJ Shield

Chapter 7. “Vi hygger os!”: Challenging Socio-Sexual Online Cultures (Conclusions)

Abstract
The concluding chapter underscores that online cultures are context-specific. For example, Danish political and journalistic discussions about immigration and integration (Chapter 1) shape the speech patterns on Grindr in the greater Copenhagen area, particularly about race (Chapter 5). But activists working to build more inclusive socio-sexual cultures must address not only the broader socio-political context in which an app is deployed, but also the bias built into the specific technology (Chapter 6). The book ends with ruminations on the question: How is a Grindr profile like a Tweet?
Andrew DJ Shield

Backmatter

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