Traversing the Erotic Oasis: Online Chatting and the Space/Time Continuum
Keywords:chronotopes, critical geography, digital space, language, queer, semiotics
This study focuses on language in interaction to investigate digital queer geographies. Data analysis focuses on temporal aspects of online text-only chatting in addition to the spatial and discursive. Discourse analysis is applied to interactions in which men who desire men interact in a specific type of place semiotics. Extracts are taken from a corpus of 300,000 words of chatting data that was gathered from online chat rooms. Ongoing dialogues occur simultaneously in these conversations but in layers created by different scales of time, and discursive links are made to yet higher timescales via references to spatialities both within and outside of the chat room. Different experiences of space and time (i.e. chronotopes) intersect periodically in a process in which the constant use of language shapes a negotiation of normativities. The analysis in this study will examine conversations to explore how this particular process relates to the subversion or continuance of homonormativity by the participants, shedding light on the role of language and semiotics in queer geographies.
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