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    Gay men, Grindr, and the racialisation of 'desire as sexuality': a psychosocial investigation

    Reilly, Dominic James (2020) Gay men, Grindr, and the racialisation of 'desire as sexuality': a psychosocial investigation. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

    PhD Thesis - Gay men, Grindr, & the racialisation of desire as sexuality - Dominic Reilly - Department of Psychosocial Studies - Birkbeck University of London.pdf - Full Version

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    Within gay male cultures, long-standing debates about racialised sexuality, often framed in terms of “racial preference”, have carried over into emergent critiques of hook-up and dating apps such as Grindr. Within this project, I seek to contribute to these debates by advancing a framework I call the racialisation of ‘desire as sexuality’ (‘RoDaS’). ‘RoDaS’ brings psychoanalytic theories of sexuality into conversation with queer and queer of colour theory, and black and “quare” studies, while drawing on racial formation theory, psychic and phenomenological theories of ‘race’, and critical race theory to limn the symbiosis that lies at the nexus of ‘race’ and sexuality. Moving from theory to the field, I apply ‘RoDaS’ at two sites: on Grindr, formulated as an “infrastructure of intimacy” where racialised sexualities are enacted and co-constructed, and where I decode the latent and manifest meanings of racialised profile texts through a theoretically-driven thematic analysis; and in biographical research interviews, conducted with White and Black MSM who identified as having a “racial preference” in sex and dating. Constructing the ‘RoDaS’ framework in theory and testing it in the field, I seek to demonstrate: (i) the centrality of Whiteness to the edifices of sexuality as we know it; (ii) the proximity and relationality of always-already intersected ‘race’ and gender; (iii) the particularity of the psychosocial subject’s relationship to ‘race’ and racialised experiences and objects, emphasising a dynamic unconscious, the importance of psychic processes and biography, and the weight of history and socio-cultural discourses and formations; and (iv) the dialectic relationship between the structures of ‘race’ and desire (among them: difference and similitude; dominance and submission; ambivalence; and insatiability), which are crucial to the ways both ‘race’ and sexuality sustain themselves.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2021 10:46
    Last Modified: 28 Jun 2024 05:39


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