Performing the Discourse of Sexuality Online

Performing the Discourse of Sexuality Online

David Kreps (University of Salford, UK)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1915-9.ch009

Abstract

This chapter focuses on Foucault, Butler, and video-sharing on sexual social networking sites. It argues that the use and prevalence of video-sharing technologies on sexual social networking websites has a direct impact on notions of sexual identity. Though sometimes pitted against one another and at times contradictory, the ideas of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler on the nature and expression of sexuality and gender identities in fact gel rather well, and both can help us to gain a deeper and more rounded picture of the impact and importance of the burgeoning phenomenon of internet dating websites in general, and sexual social networking in particular.
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Theoretical Background

Social Constructionism was famously introduced (albeit leaning on Mead’s (1934) work on symbolic interactionism) by Berger & Luckman (1967), as an approach which focuses on the ways in which people and the groups they form contribute to the creation of their perceived social reality – the collective power of society to determine individual identity. Social interaction lies at the heart of all knowledge for the social constructionist. Whilst this chapter aligns itself with the fundamental contention of social constructionism, namely that no man is an island, and that our selves and our interaction with each other are indivisible, poststructuralism, and its more contemporary approach to the nature of identity, is the principal philosophical approach propounded in this chapter. Although there is a good deal of overlap, not all social constructionists are poststructuralists, but the author of this chapter is. As an approach, poststructuralism represents the deconstruction of all systems of thought, treating all ideals, systems, structures, definitions and assumptions with suspicion, encouraging, on the contrary, a continual and profound scepticism and freshness and open-mindedness of enquiry as central tenets of its approach (Kreps 2010). This applies, of course, as much to social constructionism, as to any other system of thought.

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