Social Media Experiences of LGBTQ+ People: Enabling Feelings of Belonging

Topoi (2024)
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Abstract

This paper explores how the social and affective lives of people with marginalized social identities are particularly affected by digital influences. Specifically, the paper examines whether and how social media enables LGBTQ+ people to experience feelings of belonging. It does so by drawing on literature from digital epistemology and phenomenology of the digital, and by presenting and analyzing the results of a qualitative study consisting of 25 interviews with LGBTQ+ people. The interviews were conducted to explore the social media experiences of LGBTQ+ people through an empirical framework informed by both phenomenology and social epistemology, particularly feminist standpoint theory. The paper emphasizes the importance of positionality and the epistemic value of research that centers marginalized perspectives and employs an anti-oppressive research approach, and focuses on understanding the digital experiences of LGBTQ+ people from within their marginalized perspective.

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Gen Eickers
Universit├Ąt Bayreuth

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2023-12-07

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