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Disturbing Hegemonic Discourse: Nonbinary Gender and Sexual Orientation Labeling on Tumblr6

Disturbing Hegemonic Discourse: Nonbinary Gender and Sexual Orientation Labeling on Tumblr6

Labeling concept

There clearly was a physical human body of literary works in therapy known as labeling theory and modified labeling concept (Norris, 2011). Predominantly, this literary works centers around the negative impacts of labels such as “depressed” and “ex-convict” mounted on people considered by culture to be deviant (Norris, 2011). Provided these centers around labeling, drawing connections between labeling theory or modified labeling theory and sex labeling practices may be tricky—the implication that the gender that is nonbinary intimate orientation label is indicative of either psychological disease or unlawful tendencies, particularly when the legitimacy of sex identification disorder happens to be called into concern by scholars such as for example Judith Butler (2004), just isn’t the goal of this research. Helpfully, R. Norris’ (2011) study examines self-labeling in nontraditional undergraduates (those aged 25 years and older), in the place of concentrating on more socially stigmatizing labels of ex-convict or mentally sick dawn. One main point of huge difference, though, is the fact that Norris (2011) discovers negative self-evaluation and later disidentification to be closely tied up with self-labeling (p. 191), whereas NBG&SO self-labeling practices as talked about in this essay are, finally, a process that is constructive as an example, the entire process of public NBG&SO self-labeling really helps to offer spaces for communities to get in touch.

Norris (2011) additionally contends that self-labeling arises away from “discrepancies between how one ‘should’ be and exactly how a person is in reality” (p. 190). Although this really is most likely the scenario in a few circumstances of self-labeling (even some cases of NBG&SO self-labeling), we discover that, generally speaking, the training of self-labeling NBG&SO on Tumblr functions as an effort to bridge those discrepancies and create/use labels that more exactly describe one’s NBG&SO in the place of nonbinary people trying to squeeze into hegemonic understandings of sex and intimate orientation. This conclusion is comparable to Adam D. Galinsky et al. ’s (2013) findings that the reclamation of previously derogatory labels (such as for instance “queer”) by marginalized teams help to “attenuate the stigma connected to the derogatory group label” (p. 2028). It’s then feasible to know the reclaimed label of “queer”—described by Cameron and Kulick (2003) and Gray (2009)—as initial grounding for the self-labeling of NBG&SO since “once an organization begins self-labeling, team energy is regarded as increasing” (Galinsky et al., 2013, p. 2028), and also this perception of energy are an adding factor into the expansion of NBG&SO self-labeling as seen on Tumblr.


Perhaps, labeling procedures through appropriation of hegemonic discourse aren’t radical enough to generate change that is true societal imaginings of sex and sexual orientation; in a Foucauldian sense, the LGBTQIA community is, possibly, simply recycling current energy structures. But, though created of hegemonic discourse, we argue that this framework additionally provides a chance to make LGBTQIA genders and sexualities familiar. The definition of “asexual” is straight away seen as the lack of the work of intercourse, so is a simple rational action to the lack of sexual interest in a person. This framework acts not only to make a simpler path for brand new people in the LGBTQIA community to also follow but gives the window of opportunity for those outside the community to get a much better understanding of nonbinary genders and sexualities—even should they may well not fundamentally accept them. This basically means, considering that the audience currently has many understanding of the basic (hegemonic) sex and intimate orientation discourse, it really is then easier for them (inside the community or otherwise not) to understand the more nuanced ways of explaining genders and sexualities not in the hegemonic binary, therefore troubling hegemonic notions of sex and intimate orientation.

Aside from the good subversive powers of public gender and intimate orientation labeling, i’ve shown just exactly how platform affordances form use and therefore identification construction in addition to discursive labeling practices. Affordances since straightforward as perhaps maybe not supplying organized pages help users to find out their own techniques to display areas of by themselves they think about being main with their feeling of real self. In this situation, absence of structured pages means identification construction happens not online in bio bins and About me personally pages but in addition through ephemeral tagging along with other community building methods such as for instance asking for asks. LGBTQIA bloggers took advantageous asset of the affordances (or shortage thereof) on Tumblr to create About Me pages and bio containers typical places for NBG&SO identification construction and self-labeling to occur, causeing this to be a meeting regarding the LGBTQIA community on Tumblr that stretches the discussion on NBG&SO and maybe invites audiences to consider unique sex and intimate orientation.

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