[csaa-forum] CFP: Special issue of Social Media + Society - Making Cultures of Gender and Sexuality with Social Media

Jean Burgess je.burgess at qut.edu.au
Tue May 5 10:19:36 ACST 2015

Special Issue of Social Media + Society

Making Digital Cultures of Gender and Sexuality with Social Media

Eds Jean Burgess, Elija Cassidy, Stefanie Duguay, and Ben Light
QUT Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC)

Sociocultural Internet research has, for most of its history, engaged with
questions of gender and sexuality. Early work exploring  the emancipatory
potential of the Internet, for example, pointed optimistically towards the
possibilities for gender fluidity, but more critically towards the problems
of gender tourism and the reinforcement of biologically deterministic
conceptions of gender roles. Either way, digital cultures are sites of
gender construction. Similarly, sexualities have been digitally mediated and
re-mediated as people with diverse sexual identities have found support via
networked media, experienced the entanglement  of physical and digitally
mediated embodiments of sexuality, and digital media have been  used for
both challenging and preserving heteronormativity.

This special issue aims to bring together new research and scholarship on
onn how digital cultures of gender and sexuality are made, focusing on
social media as a particular sociotechnical and cultural site of these
processes. Everyday social media activities are comprised not just of
exchanges between users but also involve the influence of platform owners,
designers, and other stakeholders, such as marketers and data miners. For
example, although Facebook¹s decision to allow users to display a custom
gender identity (outside the male/female binary) appears to be empowering to
users, even this additional element of self-presentation is influenced by
programmed specifications, datafiable for profit, and dependent on
Facebook¹s corporate policy-makers.

The importance of considering digital cultures of gender and sexuality
further, and a key reason for this issue, is due to a number of
developments. First, more people than ever are participating with digital
cultures due to social media. However, the nature of this participation is
complicated, mutable and in no way uniform. Second, the sophistication of
the devices, infrastructures, functions and interfaces presented by social
media to users is, without welcoming in technological determinism, arguably
becoming greater.  Moreover, this sophistication is at the same time both
visible and invisible depending upon a range of considerations ­ such as
levels of digital literacy, commercial interests, algorithmic programming,
politics and power.

This special issue seeks to further interrogate questions of the
contemporary making of digital cultures of gender and sexuality with social
media.  Whilst difference-based approaches to understanding the gendered
make up of social media users and audiences have been addressed, this issue
focuses upon the ways in which gender and sexuality are constructed and
circulated with and by this media. Possible topics might include:

* Identity
* Harassment, discrimination, and cyberbullying
* Activism, resistance, and reappropriation
* Cultures and communities
* Commodification and political economies
* Inscription and regulation of gender and sexuality by software
* Circulation of gender and sexuality based controversies
* Pornography
* Digitally mediated dating and personal relationships
* Sexual health and wellbeing
* Intersections of gender and sexuality with age, ethnicity, (dis)ability,

Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted to Ben Light
(ben.light at qut.edu.au<mailto:ben.light at qut.edu.au> <mailto:ben.light at qut.edu.au> ) by 1 June  2015. Where
appropriate, please nominate an author for correspondence. On the basis of
these short abstracts, invitations to submit full papers (of no more than
8000 words) will then be sent out by 14 June 2015. Full papers will be due
by 31 August 2015, and will undergo the usual Social Media and Society
review procedure. Please note that an invitation to submit a full paper for
review does not guarantee paper acceptance.

Associate Professor Jean Burgess
Ph: +617 3138 8253 | Email: je.burgess at qut.edu.au | Twitter: @jeanburgess

Centre Director | QUT Digital Media Research Centre
Creative Industries Faculty | Queensland University of Technology
Z1-515 | Musk Ave | Kelvin Grove QLD 4059 | Ph: +617 3138 0156 | Fax: +617 3138 8116
Website: www.qut.edu.au/research/dmrc<http://www.qut.edu.au/research/dmrc> | Centre email: dmrc at qut.edu.au<mailto:dmrc at qut.edu.au>


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