Just a preference: racialised language in the sex-seeking profiles of gay and bisexual men.

Published: September 4, 2012


Racialised language is a salient and contested aspect of contemporary sexual cultures, particularly in the online domain. This paper explores the ways in which gay men in Australia employ race-related language when using online sex/dating websites. Using inductive content analysis, descriptive categories were developed to identify recurrent patterns in the racialised language employed by website users. A coding framework was then constructed to identify the ‘subject’ (self, other or concept) of each piece of race-related content, its ‘purpose’ (marketing, negative or positive discrimination, commentary) and the ‘position’ adopted (defensive, normalised or critical). Descriptive and comparative analyses revealed differences in the ways in which members of racial groups employed racialised language online. These differences are reviewed in relation to broader discourses on Whiteness and race in Australia, as well as recent community-produced anti-racism campaigns.

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