Cruising the Interface: Sex, Race and Migrants on Hook-Up Apps – 9 December 2019

By November 19, 2019Events

When? Monday 9 December 2019, 13:00-14:30

Where? Room 109, Elmfield

While the majority of the most popular social media do not ask their users about their race, many hook-up apps do ask about race in their registration interfaces. Moreover, different hook-up apps provide different predefined race or ethnicity options to choose from. Why does race matter in online self-presentation for romantic and/or sexual purposes? What are the differences in conceptualising race or ethnicity in the predefined options on different hook-up apps? And what do users do with them?

In this talk, Andrew Shield and Lukasz Szulc will discuss these and other questions, drawing on their research with migrants from Muslim-majority countries to Denmark and queer Poles in the UK, respectively. They will historicise and critique drop-down menus of hook-up apps as well as elaborate on how and why users negotiate, challenge or reject the menus and their options, reflecting on the larger questions of racial imaginations, digital media and globalisation.

Andrew DJ Shield is Assistant Professor at Leiden University, Netherlands, where he specialises in sexuality, migration and diversity studies. He is the author of Immigrants on Grindr (2019) and Immigrants in the Sexual Revolution (2017).

Lukasz Szulc is Lecturer in Digital Media and Society at the University of Sheffield, UK, and co-chair of LGBTQ Studies Interest Group in the International Communication Association. He is the author of Queer #PolesinUK (2019) and Transnational Homosexuals in Communist Poland (2018).

This event is hosted by the Digital Society Network’s Global Digital Popular Culture Hub and the Migration Research Group.