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:
- Chan, L. S. (2018). Ambivalence in networked intimacy: Observations from gay men using mobile dating apps. New Media and Society, 20, 2566–2581. doi:10.1177/1461444817727156
- Chan, L. S. (2017). The role of gay identity confusion and outness in sex-seeking on mobile dating apps among men who have sex with men: A conditional process analysis. Journal of Homosexuality, 64, 622-637. doi:10.1080/00918369.2016.1196990
- Chan, L. S. (2016). How sociocultural context matters in self-presentation: A comparison of U.S. and Chinese profiles on Jack’d, a mobile dating app for men who have sex with men. International Journal of Communication, 10, 6040-6059. Retrieved from http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/5829/1875