Grindr-ing respectability, normativity, and the abject other

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Eric Blaine Toler (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Danielle Bouchard

Abstract: In this project, I locate Grindr as a critical site of the (re)production of the respectable queer subject. Examining the mobile smartphone application as a venue for queer world-making and the challenges it poses to distinctions between the public and the private, I consider Grindr as a possible queer counterpublic with broad implications for its users. I ask how the process of blocking and explicitly writing that certain bodies are not welcome is in itself a crucial process of producing one’s own normative identity and presentation, as well as producing the abject subject. Working with scholarship on queer world-making, identity formation, and critical race studies of affective influences on racialized identity, I argue that Grindr offers an avenue for users to produce identity and subjectivity that extends beyond the realm of its digital boundaries. I use phenomenological inquiry and critical analysis of theoretical scholarship to build my argument, weaving this together with my own personal experiences as lived knowledge. Using personal experience and existing scholarship to explore Grindr’s potential for subject production, I seek to examine hegemonic sociality as it appears on the application.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Abjection, Grindr, Queer studies, Respectability
Other (Philosophy) in mass media
Sexual minority culture
Online social networks
Rejection (Psychology)

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