Completed Project

US gay men’s use of dating apps

Before I commenced my PhD dissertation research in China, I was intrigued by the popularity of Grindr and many similar dating apps for gay men in the United States. I suggest the transition from industrial society to network society inevitably cultivates a new form of intimacy—the networked intimacy. Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman call the project of the self in the network society the “networked individualism.” The networked individuals rely heavily on their diverse social networks and make use of information technologies to manage these multiple relationships. In this light, networked intimacy can be conceptualized as an emerging form of intimate relationships that is enabled by the increased access to the Internet and the prevalence of mobile phones. In this project, I examined sex-seeking behaviors (surveys), self-representation (content analysis), as well as the nature of intimacy (in-depth interviews supplemented by surveys) on gay dating apps.

Published articles from this project: