The management of LGBTQ+ identities on social media: A student perspective

Talbot, Catherine, Talbot, Amelia, Roe, Danielle J. and Briggs, Pamela (2020) The management of LGBTQ+ identities on social media: A student perspective. New Media & Society. ISSN 1461-4448 (In Press)

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Social media can be used to both enhance and diminish students’ experiences of university and its influence is strong for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other non-heterosexual and gender-diverse (LGBTQ+) people facing stigma and discrimination. Students may feel exposed when identifying as LGBTQ+, particularly while transitioning to university life. In this study, we used theories of performance and digital personhood to explore how LGBTQ+ students use social media for identity management. We report a thematic analysis of 16 interviews. Four themes were generated from the data, showing that students use social media to explore, conceal, protect and express their identities. We found that different social media provide stages where LGBTQ+ identities are constrained by different and distinctive social factors. Thus, LGBTQ+ students’ online identities are multiple, situated and bound to specific platforms, with some alternatives to Facebook offering a space where students may feel more comfortable performing their authentic selves.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Disclosure, gender, higher education, identity, LGBT, life transitions, performance, sexuality, technology
Subjects: C800 Psychology
L300 Sociology
P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 12:46
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2020 13:00

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